President Emmerson Mnangagwa has commissioned more than 20 buses with another fleet expected to arrive in the country later this month.
Addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe Passenger Company (ZUPCO), Mnangagwa said 500 buses that are suppose to come into the country from Belarus will take long hence government had made preliminary arrangements.
“We have gathered to witness a development which those of you who may remember when I went away to visit Rusia, Belarus, Azabejan and Kazakhstan in January.
” One of the issues I came back and stated to the nation was that we had arranged to acquire 500 buses from the Republic of Belarus.
“By the time I came back home there were some disturbances in January which those with good memory can still remember that some violence occurred and during that course of disturbances fares charged by commuter buses went up so rampantly that the community of our travelers were affected taking advantage of that situation so we decided that it was necessary to have a stable transport system both in the urban as well as in the country side.
“Because the arrangement we had done in Europe will take longer, we decided to preliminary make arrangements which would bring about 300 buses before the 500 come in from Europe.
“These 300, 200 from South Africa and a 100 from China, they began coming into the country some few days ago and on a daily basis they are arriving. some arrived yesterday, some today and tomorrow and so on but we believe that before the month end all the 300 will be in Harare but this consignment is now ready to be put into operation,” he said.
Mnangagwa said it is necessary to provide transport safety net where the public is protected from unscrupulous bus and commuter omnibus operators.
“Government thinks it is necessary to provide transport safety net where the public is protected from unscrupulous bus and commuter omnibus operators by providing modern decent digital transport system.
“Today we are witnessing the launch of that concept, the realisation and actualisation of that concept,” he said.
He said the urban transport sector has been facing challenges.
“The urban transport sector as I have said has seen a number of challenges which include high fares, inefficient transport system, high accident rates, withholding of transport operators, putting the travelling public to ransom so the government in its effort to provide a safe and reliable both urban and rural transport system has facilitated the introduction of these buses.
“We have no doubt that the roll-out of this bus system will not only benefit our people but will eliminate the criminals among us, the cheats among us who when given fuel do not use it all for the purpose they have been given, who do not surrender all the monies they collect as they go around,” Mnangagwa said.