MAUN ÔÇô Superintendent Samuel Kgomo of Maun Police has said that his Police station continues to record increasing cases in which passengers are persistently mishandled by taxi operators.
In the latest case, the victim, a 17 year old female was subjected to rape by a 24 year old taxi driver and his 22 year old friend. The two accused have since been remanded in police custody following the incident that occurred on the wee hours of this past Sunday.
According to Superintendent Kgomo duo reportedly drove around town for a couple of hours with the unsuspecting woman before they took a different turn that led to the taxi man’s place instead.
“It was while there that the taxi man repeatedly raped the woman without protection while the other man watched, later at which he left the room so that his partner in crime could continue with the rape. His timing was bad because just when he was about to start the act, the woman gave a loud scream which led to the police on patrol to rush to the house. Both men were immediately arrested and have been remanded in custody pending police investigations”, said Kgomo adding that there had been several other incidents of this nature.
He expressed serious concern about what he termed a “growing trend”, whereby passengers are continuously mishandled by taxi operators.
He noted that Maun police has in the past also been overwhelmed by cases whereby taxi operators assault passengers, more especially when the latter complain about their failure to complete routes.
“We are so disappointed by occurrences like this one. Mind you, we always discourage people to board lifts as we had thought we could trust them with the transportation of people from one point to another.
Kgomo added that “Maun is a busy place with lots of entertainment and therefore people are always on the move. However this shouldn’t be seen as an excuse for taxi operators to act this way because they ferry passengers at their own will.”
During times when meetings are called to sensitize taxi operators on what is expected of them, Kgomo said it is usually permit holders and just a handful of taxi drivers who attend, something which he says always results in the message not being communicated to the right people. Nevertheless he promised the law will take its course and that they are hopeful that others will learn from the recent incident.