ZVISHAVANE – The Rutenga - Buchwa Road has seen a sharp decrease in the number of public transport operators due to increased police roadblocks that members of the public say are scaring away business, leading to transport shortages and a rise in fares.
The road has probably the densest roadblock concentration in the province with police mounting more than five blocks on a 20km stretch of the road, a situation that operators say is milking them dry and causing unmanageable losses.
Some commuters told TellZim News that they now face challenges in getting public transport due to the limited number of operators available.
They also said also said the few available vehicles doing business on the route are now overcharging to make up for the money that the police take from them.
"The police are making our lives hard as they are taking too much money from these operators. How can they mount roadblock every 4km and demand money at each stop?" quipped one disgruntled commuter.
Another one said the police must do their work with reasonable restraint if the public is to benefit from the supposed law-enforcement operations.
"It is a bad situation when the police are hated more than the petty thief on the streets. People have seen that the roadblocks are there more as a fundraiser than a sincere measure to tackle lawlessness on the roads," said the commuter.
Police have always maintained that opposition to roadblocks were misplaced and were motivated by criminal intent although there have been credible complaints from different quarters even to the effect that the roadblocks were negatively affecting investment and tourism in the country.local