The Harare City Council has over the past few years adopted half-hearted measures to rid the capital of disorderly commuter omnibuses that have been blamed for the chaos on our roads.
The Standard Editorial
The ineffective measures included clamping, towing away vehicles and fining offending kombi drivers who have no hesitation to break every rule contained in the Highway Code.
Municipal police fighting running battles with kombis also threw spikes in front of vehicles picking or dropping passengers at undesignated points, a move that triggered accidents right in the city centre.
A number of people lost their lives, and others were severely injured as pedestrians were hit by kombis fleeing from the cops.
The threat posed by the kombis and unruly touts made walking on CBD pavements unsafe.
This everyday flagrant disregard of traffic rules by kombis and touts in broad daylight created the impression that nothing could be done to rein in these rowdy characters.
However, events of the past few days give an impression that the city council may have finally mustered the courage and conviction needed to decisively deal with errant kombis and restore sanity on our roads.
Following the opening of the new Coventry Road holding bay, we have realised that it is possible for the municipality to enforce its traffic by-laws and decongest the city.
Between Tuesday and Saturday last week, council impounded over 100 kombis for disregarding the new holding bay and the vehicles would be held for at least 14 days.
Such a measure, which obviously hurts the pockets of both kombi crews and vehicle owners, has a deterrent effect that will go a long way in restoring sanity on our roads.
This clampdown which has decongested the Copacabana area in a matter of days should be commended and sterner measures should be adopted by the council to ensure that Harare is finally rid of undesirable touts and louts.
More holding bays should be constructed in other parts of the city so that our roads and pavements can be safe again.