MUTARE – The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) operation to restore sanity in the mountainous city has been hailed by residents after the military drove away thugs, rank marshals and touts operating at bus and commuter omnibus termini across the city.
It was double victory for the military as some of the thugs and touts who were forced out of the termini had been involved in an incident which left their colleague — a footballer with Buffaloes — with an amputated arm.
Kudzai Mwaramba had his arm amputated after he was cut by a machete when he tried to call to order an alleged notorious city thug who had been involved in brawls with some marshals at a local car wash.
The military had warned, well before their operation that they would rid the city and all suburbs of menacing people — including well-known terror groups and thugs — masquerading as rank marshals and touts.
Indeed they returned this week and turned the well-known trouble spots upside down in operation which aims to restore sanity in Mutare, especially at termini.
In a joint operation with municipal and Zimbabwe Republic Police, the army drove away touts and rank marshals from public transport ranks.
Most rank marshals were linked to the infamous terror group, Chipangano.
It took control of Mutare’s bus termini and ranks to cater for the welfare of its unemployed political thugs.
The group charged between $2-$5 on local commuter omnibuses and up to $70 per trip on long-distance buses.
Mutare City Council public relations officer Sprin Mutiwi said in a statement the Operation Restore Sanity would be “aggressive” in “flushing out touts and rank marshals who have become a menace to the travelling public”.
“We want the rank marshal and touts menace to disappear from Mutare, and all commuter and long distance bus operators should desist from engaging touts.
“It’s disturbing to note that a number of people have lost valuable items through theft due to the influx of touts at various bus termini,” Mutiwi said.