Government suspends bus licences

Harare (New Ziana) – The Government on Thursday suspended the operating licences of two bus companies for allegedly flouting road traffic rules.

Two Rimbi Tours and Zebra Kiss buses were involved in an accident this week in which one person was killed and over twenty others were injured, allegedly after the vehicles were engaged in a risky road race.

The buses were caught on video allegedly racing on 17 January 2023 in Mutoko District along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway, resulting in the fatal accident.

In a statement, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said the suspension of the operating licences for the two companies was with immediate effect.

“Pursuant to the fatal accident, which has so far claimed one life and caused serious injury of many passengers, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and other actors in the ecosystem of road traffic management, including the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) and emergency health services has established the component of human error, prohibited by Sections 51, 52 and 53 of the Road Traffic Act [Chapter 13:17) as the principal cause of the accident,” he said.

“Sections 51, 52 and 53 of the Road Traffic Act prohibit driving without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for others, negligent or dangerous driving and reckless driving respectively, which violation is a breach of the terms and conditions of the two operators’ licenses issued for them to operate in Zimbabwe.”

“Informed by the foregoing violations and verified videographic circumstances, the Commissioner of Road Transport, after informing the two operators of his intention, and after the operators were given a reasonable opportunity to make representations on the matter in terms of Section 17 (2) of the Road Motor Transportation Act [Chapter 13:15), invoked provisions of Section 17 (1) (b) (i) of the same Act and suspended the licences of Rimbi Travel and Tours and Tashllyt Investments Trading as Zebra Kiss from operating all its omnibuses in all the routes as authorised by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.”

“This suspension is with immediate effect pending corrective measures by the two operators to ensure that they are in a position to resume operations without breach of the terms and conditions under which their licenses are issued,” said Mhona.

“Section 17 (1) (b) () of the Road Motor Transportation Act empowers the Commissioner of Road Transport to suspend the operator’s license where it appears that there is disregard of the terms and conditions of the licenses. I have directed that this provision be implemented dutifully, consistently and religiously going forward, with the view to weed out all errant operators from our roads.”

Mhona said he had had to take harsher action in view of increasing road accidents in the country which were claiming lives.

“This is in line with targets contained in the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 (2021-2025) which seeks to reduce road accidents and fatalities by a 25% margin per annum. Going forward, we shall build on this momentum of strict enforcement of road motor transportation and safety for the safety and well-being of the people,” he said.

He warned other transport operators that his Ministry will not hesitate to take similar harsh measures if they also flouted road traffic rules.

New Ziana

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