ZUPCO challenged to measure up

By ZBC Reporter

THE prevailing transport situation in urban areas has become a major source of worry with commuters feeling short-changed by the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company – ZUPCO after spending long hours in queues during peak hours.

Having placed their trust in ZUPCO amid a chaotic mass public transport sector where pirate taxis have been causing havoc, commuters who are spending long hours at various designated pick up points feel let down.

ZBC News visited some residential areas in Harare, including Kuwadzana, Warren Park and Rugare where it caught up with stranded commuters who had no kind words in the wake of the prevailing transport situation.

“We have been waiting for the transport for almost an hour, ZUPCO should do something because we end up losing money,” said one commuter.

“I have been here for close to two hours and no transport. I am supposed to go to Norton but l am still here,” added another.

The situation is the same in the Central Business District as meandering queues of stranded commuters are the order of the day.

The parastatal’s management believes the solution is the ZUPCO train which unfortunately does not ply other routes.

“As ZUPCO, we want to conscientise the public that we also have a train service to different routes such as Mufakose Mabvuku, instead of just waiting for buses they can use those facilities, said

A visit to ZUPCO headquarters in Belvedere, Harare was quite revealing with a sorry sight of a fleet which needs maintenance.

It also emerged that only last week the company dispatched 50 buses which had been parked for more than two months despite the fleet having been commissioned.

In his Workers Day Message, President Emmerson Mnangagwa called on ZUPCO and the responsible ministry to put their house in order in the interest of the commuting public.

“Government will not stand by and watch while the hard earned income of our workers are stolen by Mushikashikas and makoronyera.I therefore direct authorities at ZUPCO and the responsible ministry to heed this call and bring back order in the sector,” he said

Meanwhile, government has clarified its position on the prevailing transport situation in the country.

In a Post-Cabinet Media Briefing held this Wednesday afternoon, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa indicated that private players are still welcome to operate in the public transport system, only after following protocol.

“Cabinet wishes to clarify that govt has not banned private players in the transport sector, but necessary registration procedures have to be followed in order for them to operate. To curb the current transport situation in the country, ZUPCO buses plying inter-city routes will take on intra-city routes upon return.Government has also noted with concern the proliferation of unlicensed vehicles known as mushikashika and other unroadworthy vehicles commuting various routes. The public is informed that government through the Zimbabwe Republic Police will enforce the law without fear or favour for safety of the public,” she said.

Government has so far procured more than 500 ZUPCO buses as the Second Republic continues to transform the mass public transport system.