OVER 60 percent of commuter omnibuses plying major routes are not registered, putting the lives of passengers at risk as they are devoid of passenger insurance.
Giving oral evidence before a Parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development chaired by Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF), Zimbabwe National Commuter Omnibus Operators Organisation chairman Mr Aaron Tapfuma said the majority of commuter omnibuses were unregistered but still managed to operate querying why law abiding citizens should continue registering and paying for passenger insurance when police are letting kombis without these documents go scott free.
Mr Tapfuma implored Government to protect registered transport operators arguing that they were law abiding citizens who paid insurance and were licensed to do business within the confines of the law. “Commercial vehicles must be registered, licensed and they need protection because they bring revenue to the Government.
“If we do not protect these registered vehicles, we are creating chaos. Registered operators are saying if we are not protected by the law, what is the purpose of registering, getting insurance and all that? Most vehicles are not registered about 60 percent of the kombis are not registered,” said Mr Tapfuma.
The association also had accused the police of not being keen to remove pirate taxis commonly known as ‘mushikashika’ saying the law enforcement agencies were reluctant to do so for fear of impeding their daily target to raise a certain threshold in spot fines.
These ‘mushikashikas’ are private vehicles which do not have passenger insurance hence putting the life of passengers at risk.
There is an increasing number of road traffic accidents that the country has been experiencing many injured parties and accident victims have incurred health costs and funeral costs on their own leaving the government to mute the idea of a Road accident Fund to cover for medical and funeral costs of accident victims.
Players in the insurance industry have advised passengers to deceit from boarding vehicles without passenger insurance and or take out personal accident cover to protect oneself in case of a disabling accident or accidental death.
Source: The Herald