Using pirate taxis and hanging from a moving are now a punishable offences in Harare following amendments to the Harare (Traffic) (Amendment) By-Laws, 2016.
The amended bylaw outlaws the use of private or public service vehicles to ferry passengers for commercial purposes without relevant documents.
“No person travelling upon any auto-cycle, goods vehicle, motor cycle, motor vehicle, omnibus, pedal-cycle, public service vehicle, taxi or any moving vehicle may cling to or attach or hang or suspend himself or herself to such vehicle upon public road,” reads one of the amendments.
The amendments to the bylaw empowers the City Traffic Enforcement unit to decisively deal with the menace of pirate taxis popularly known as Mshikashika.
The amendments also bar the driving or parking of heavy vehicles in the Central Business District before or after stipulated times and also the driving of heavy vehicles into residential areas.
A heavy vehicle means any vehicle, object, contrivance for moving load, having a net mass which is in excess of 2300kg, but does not include a passenger motor vehicle having a seating accommodation for less than eight passengers, emergency vehicles, delivery van or vehicle on duty, construction vehicle, school purpose vehicle or any vehicle operated by or on behalf of the council, regardless of weight, while on council business or as defined in the Road Traffic Act.
Relevant documents means rank disc, vehicle licence, road traffic permit, route authority, taxi badge or operators’ licence.
Recently Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube said the city would decent hard on pirate taxis.
“They are taking no regard of traffic laws and let me warn them that enforcement teams will descend on them heavily. Most of them have not renewed their rank discs; some have abandoned their authorised routes while some are picking up passengers at undesignated points, while some are parking in their vehicles in the streets.
“They must move immediately to comply with their permit conditions,” she said.