Masvingo- Computer Omnibus operators in Masvingo have grumbled over Mushika-shika cars, un registered taxis that operate at undesignated points, saying the unregistered taxis have led to the decline of their revenue streams.
The Mushika-shika cars which ferry people at any point have necessitated the 20c drop in the prices of kombis from the initial 50c that the kombis used to charge.
One of the Kombi drivers expressed his agony saying that Mushikashika cars are a threat to their business.
“The uncontrolled rise of the Mushikashika cars is a direct threat to our business. These cars carry people at any point risking the lives of passengers and pedestrians,” he said.
Another driver pleaded with the city fathers to control the situation.
“We kindly ask our city fathers to control the situation. These cars, they should be impounded as they operate illegally,” said Tichafa Toga, adding that the cars are dangerous to passengers.
However, scores of Rujeko residents applauded the Mushikashika taxis saying they are faster and convenient.
“I prefer mushikashika because I will get to work in time for it is fast unlike a kombi which has to carry more than 15passengers,” said a Rujeko woman who commutes to work every day.
Another Rujeko resident said she opts for mushikashika cars as she is obliged to be at work by 8 O’clock.
In a telephone interview with 263chat, Masvingo Mayor, Hubert Fidze said council is not getting remittance from mushikashika cars and urged residents to stop using such transport.
“We totally get nothing from the mushikashika cars, so residents should stop using such cars. We recommend that they use public transport that ferry people from designated sites, “he said
He warned that all un-registered taxis would be treated as stolen vehicles and their owners prosecuted.
The Mushikashika business is not only limited to Masvingo, it has been replicated across all major cities and towns in Zimbabwe. Most of Mushika-shika car operators are reported to be engaged in immoral and criminal activities, including forcing people to go into vehicles when they don’t want to, harassing women, indecent assault, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and shouting obscenities.