At least 81 rank marshals were arrested last week for touting under the ongoing Harare city rank clean-up exercise which started last year. The touts, who were harassing travellers and demanding money from commuter omnibus drivers, were arrested at different ranks in the city.
Harare provincial spokesperson Inspector Tedious Chibanda confirmed the arrests.
"We are happy to say that more police officers are being deployed at city ranks to ensure a thorough elimination of touts and rank marshals," said Inspector Chibanda.
Inspector Chibanda said anyone abused by touts should report to the nearest police station.
"We are advising the public or any victim of harassment by the touts to report immediately to any nearest police station or police officer on duty for help," he said.
Commuters in Mbare have since expressed concern over the increase of touts and rank marshals in their area.
Takunda Gokwe of Mbare said: "I was really disturbed to see innocent people being harassed by touts at Mbare Musika in broad daylight and I am also a victim of such bullying acts."
Tonderai Chikoto, a kombi driver plying the City-Mbare route, said rank marshals were taking advantage of the absence of police officers at bus stops.
"The so-called rank marshals are now coming during peak hours because police officers will be away," he said.
Police and the Harare City Council officers have been carrying out an operation to get rid of touts that were contributing to chaos and congestion in the city. The touts were harassing drivers and passengers, demanding money.