Harare-Zimbabwe United Passenger Compony (ZUPCO) is set to increase its carrying capacity with the aim to diminish transport shortages for passengers, while the privately-owned commuter omnibuses remain banned, an official has said.
This was revealed on Tuesday by Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa during a post Cabinet briefing following grievances from the passengers who are finding it hard to get to work especially in urban areas, DailyNews reports.
“We are actually looking at the problem that our population is encountering at bus stations and that is what we are responding to by increasing Zupco’s carrying capacity. We are actually saying let’s adhere to all the Covid-19 measures which have been put in place, while also making sure that our people do not spend more than two or three hours waiting for buses to go home.
“As to why we are saying no to the private-owned kombis, Zupco has been inviting all those with very good kombis to come on board so that they can work together. We are open to those who have kombis which are roadworthy to join Zupco, “ she said.
Recently, the government made it clear that privately-owned commuter omnibuses will remain banned beyond the national lockdown, and would only allow them to operate if they resume under the Zupco franchise.
Meanwhile, in a related scenario, the Cabinet noted with concern that truck drivers are testing positive for the virus and they are illegally transporting people from one point to the other.
“While acknowledging the critical role played by truck drivers in the movement of cargo across borders and between cities, Cabinet noted with concern that most truck drivers are testing positive for Covid-19.
“Cabinet resolved that truck drivers found carrying passengers without authorisation be penalised, that truck drivers should be educated on regulations governing their operations in Zimbabwe at the borders and further guidelines for the mandatory testing of truck drivers will be availed soon,” she said.
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) recently warned against discrimination of truck drivers, saying it affects the smooth flow of essential goods at a time the region is swinging from the impacts propelled by the Covid-19 pandemic.