The Herald (Harare)

22 January 2013

Zimbabwe: 64 Touts Arrested

SIXTY-FOUR touts were last week rounded up by the police at city bus ranks in the city and taken to court on charges of touting. This is part of an on-going joint operation involving municipal officers and the police. The operation is aimed at restoring order at city ranks.

Twenty of them were sentenced to three - month effective jail terms each.

They appeared in court in three batches between Tuesday and Friday and were all convicted for contravening the country's road motor transport laws. Last Tuesday 21 of them appeared before magistrate Ms Blessing Murwisi who fined them US$100 each.

Twenty-three of them were also spared jail by magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe. They were fined US$100 each or risk being put in prison for 30 days.

In addition they were sentenced to three months each in prison which was set aside on condition of good behaviour. Mr Trust Chivale of James Makiya legal practitioners represented all the 23 touts.

However, the remaining 20 appeared in court on Friday before magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma who sentenced them to three-month jail terms each. In passing the sentence Ms Tshuma said that touts were causing confusion at bus ranks.

"Touting is now a major concern because they cause confusion and thefts occur as a result. Day in day out, the courts is crowded with touting cases.

"The court appreciates the economic hardships in the country but it is not a passport for people to commit crime."

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