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Residents demand a solution on Kombi and municipal Police war
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
April 24, 2013

The war between kombi drivers, Police and municipal officers has taken an ugly twist culminating into serious accidents and even deaths. At least 10 people have died as a result of these accidents perpetuated by Kombi drivers trying to flee Police details wielding button sticks and bashing windscreens or municipal police officers throwing spikes on kombi tyres. Generally, spikes can cause tyre bursts and have historically been used on fleeing criminals. However, residents have called on the relevant authorities to re-consider their actions given the increase in kombi accidents which have in turn killed many.

Recently the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has distanced itself from this issue sighting the illegality of some police details. Assistant Police Commissioner Charity Charamba distanced herself and the force from the matter saying that it amounted to malicious damage to property. Hon Chinamasa previously echoed the same sentiments saying that the police were wrong in breaking windscreens of public vehicles and essentially acting outside the law.

The public has also made clear of its position on this matter. An angry mob recently applied instant justice on municipal police officers who threw a spike on a fleeing kombi and it only took passing soldiers to control the situation which occurred in the C.B.D this past weekend. The public is increasingly losing patience at the rate at which kombi’s are being involved in accidents. Ironically, the issue has raised a double headed argument with some blaming the authorities and others blaming the rowdy kombi drivers. However residents have called for the police to come out clear instead of making indirect comments with regards to that because lives are now at stake.

Action point: CHRA is the process of organising a public discussion with the local authority, association of public transport operators and the police on this matter. Members and stakeholders will be informed on the details of the meeting.

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