The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Thurs­day, Au­gust 29, 1991 — Trav­ellers to and from South Africa were yes­ter­day stranded in Bu­l­awayo and Beit­bridge as author­i­ties clamped down on the long dis­tance taxis fol­low­ing a num­ber of in­ci­dents in which Zim­bab­wean driv­ers were re­ported to have been beaten up by the minibus op­er­a­tors.

Sev­eral passengers stranded at the Bu­l­awayo City Hall, where they board the taxis, told The Chron­i­cle yes­ter­day that a mem­ber of the Zim­babwe Long Dis­tance Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents the op­er­a­tors of the taxis, had told them that they could no longer go to South Africa be­cause the kom­bis were barred by Zim­bab­wean author­i­ties.

Most seemed to think that the re­cent in­ci­dent in which a Shu-Shine bus driver was al­leged to have been beaten up by mem­bers of the South African Long Dis­tance Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion in that coun­try had forced the author­i­ties to take the dras­tic step of pre­vent­ing all for­eign taxis from op­er­at­ing in Zim­babwe.

The peo­ple who seemed to be most af­fected by the new mea­sures were those who had bought re­turn tick­ets in South Africa. They said they could not find al­ter­na­tive means of trans­port and also ex­pressed fear of los­ing their money.

One of the trav­ellers, Cde Liv­ion Ndlovu, said he had paid about R260 for a re­turn ticket and he could not find al­ter­na­tive trans­port as he stood to lose the re­turn fare he had paid. An­other trav­eller, Cde Marthy Dube, ex­pressed the hope that the Gov­ern­ment would talk to the taxi op­er­a­tors and reach an agree­ment soon. She said the taxis were pro­vid­ing a vi­tal ser­vice for Zim­bab­wean passengers.

When The Chron­i­cle vis­ited the pick-up point it found some lo­cal pi­rate taxis al­ready cash­ing in on the ab­sence of the long dis­tance taxis by car­ry­ing passengers as far as Beit­bridge for $80 a per­son.

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