Harare – some combi operators are reportedly unlawfully transporting passengers to and from their destinations as ZUPCO fails to supply all commuters on time.
Commuters anxious to go home after knocking off are boarding those unauthorized kombis and taxis who have stripped away their registration numbers so that law enforcement officers don’t immediately identify them. Most of these vehicles do not meet the ZUPCO enrolment requirements which is why they have resorted to illegally operating. Social distancing health guidelines are also constantly ignored in the scuffle to secure a seat to go home.
According to the publication in The Herald, because of ZRP roadblocks, kombis avoid routes leading into town and they opt for outskirts routes linking suburbs with industrial areas:
Kombis traveling from the high-density suburbs of Kuwadzana, Glen View, Budiriro, Mabvuku, Southlea Park, Chitungwiza, and Glen Norah to Mbare can be seen traveling early in the morning, a time when police check-out points would not be available.
Private pick-up trucks and other non-public vehicles are also taking up the opportunity to make a quick buck off desperate commuters who just want to get home or make it to work on time.
Throughout Chitungwiza, the owners of kombis and mushika-shika also travel to Makoni Shopping Centre from the locations of the dormitory area.
A few hundred meters before the police checkpoint, passengers are dumped on roads where police have installed a roadblock near a stream bridge or other point where there are no diversion routes. A couple of commuters have spoken out about detesting waiting in bus queues for up to 3 hours before the authorized ZUPCO transportation shows up. “It’s colder now and our living locations are on high crime alert.“, one individual expressed.
Meanwhile some kombis are entering town in Bulawayo especially throughout knock-off time to ferry passengers to their destinations.