…Robbers, touts pounce on travellers
…Transport operators demands forex
…Major roads congested
Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
A number of people lost their goods to thieves and robbers on Thursday at Mbudzi Roundabout along Simon Mazorodze Road as travellers scrambled for transport.
A lot of people waited for the last-minute to travel to various destinations for Christmas and New Year’s holidays, creating congestion at popular pick up points.
H-Metro witnessed touts grabbing travellers’ luggage with some disappearing into the crowds under guise of taking them to reliable transport.
Travellers also appealed to city authorities to find a lasting solution to major roads into the capital city which are failing to match volume of traffic on daily basis.
One of the victims told H-Metro that she failed to catch up with the tout’s speed since she had three kids to look after.
“I lost my groceries to a tout who grabbed my luggage under the guise of taking me to a car destined for Gutu and he disappeared in the crowd.
“I was tired after walking for almost two kilometers from where the commuter omnibus dropped me and I failed to catch up with the speed the tout who was carrying my goods.
“Tsapo yangu iyoyo ndimo manga muine grocery rose revana ndangosara nepurse yemari saka ndapererwa,” she said enquiring location of Mbudzi police post to lodge a report.
A number of private vehicles and haulage truck drivers ferried travellers and were demanding fares in foreign currency.
Foreign currency dealers were selling one United States dollars for $110 while buying the same dollar for $75 local currency.
“We have faced the music for last minute journeys because most motorists are charging fares in foreign currency and the forex dealers are robbing us taking advantage of our desperation,” said one of the travellers destined to Masvingo.
He refused to reveal how much he had lost or had been charged expressing his anger on how the foreign currency dealers and motorists were taking advantage of transport shortage.
Motorists, who were travelling along Simon Mazorodze Road, took more than an hour around lunch time to pass through Mbudzi Roundabout and police made efforts to control movement of traffic at the roundabout which was always congested.
Traffic movement was better along Bulawayo Road and travellers had little challenges at the Harare Agricultural Showground pick up point.
Travellers destined to places along Lomagundi Road faced difficulties with touts near Girls High School pick up point harassing them as they competed for clients.
There were many private vehicles with some unregistered vehicles ferrying people and movement of traffic was slow along Lomagundi Road.
“Yes, it is holiday time but slow movement of traffic along Lomagundi has been our daily thing and we are appealing to engineers to find a plan considering that some of Government offices will be relocated to New Parliament Building under construction in Mount Hampden,” said one of the commuters who resides in Mabelreign.
As for eastern side travellers, movement of traffic along Mutare Road was better presumably due to Cripps Road which worked as an alternative road connecting Mutare road in Eastlea.
Movement of traffic along Mutoko Road was better as few travellers were jostling for private vehicles opposite Holiday Inn Hotel.
Traffic movement along “Bindura road” was not much of a problem expect between Hebert Chitepo and Baines avenues as private vehicles competed for passengers while picking commuters in traffic lanes while blocking traffic.