By Lloyd Takawira
Citizens have condemned the move by police to fine commuters who board non ZUPCO bound buses and commuter omnibuses an exorbitant ZW $2000 at undesignated points.
According to the police so far hundreds of passengers have been arrested and fined $2 000 for boarding buses that are not registered with Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).
The police said that “they are urging people to use ZUPCO registered buses only to avoid being arrested.
Several commuters have been injured as illegal transport operators evade arrest while some are forced to disembark before reaching their destinations.
However, the tongue wagging move to arrest and fine citizens has stirred controversy with critics questioning the sensitivity of the government to the plight of the suffering Zimbabweans.
Speaking to this reporter, Passenger Association of Zimbabwe, acting spokesperson Andrew Chibanda said, “We have a government that is completely out of touch with the plight of the suffering Zimbabweans. The ZUPCO scheme is not able to service the numbers. How does the government expect people to travel? Information reaching our desk is that a lot of people get injured while trying to flee from the police.”
This reporter caught up with one, Delaney Chimusaru from Mbare who was arrested and fined.
“The move is absurd and sickening. There is not enough transport to ferry us to and from work. We rely on those private vehicles. The police pretend as if they don’t know the situation.”
Prominent journalist cum government critic Hopewell Chin’ono said government has shown that it is not aware of the daily struggles that is affecting the ordinary people.
“Government fines citizens $2000 for using unlicensed commercial transportation yet it has failed to move people on time!. That is when you realize that if you don’t do politics, it will do you!” wrote Chin’ono
Academic guru Dr Charlton Tsodzo also waded in saying they is now need for a class revolution in Zimbabwe.
“Mmmm folks I honestly think this government is now taking people for granted we need to do a class action against this nonsense mhani…citizens are getting humiliated, dehumanised by being unjustifiably fined and shackled with handcuffs like violent criminals for looking for alternative transport in the midst of failure of the ZUPCO system. I am looking for a lawyer to take government to court …and anyone else who may want to join me in this suit #Robonga”
Former Masvingo opposition member of parliament Heya Shoko said, “Tichiri munyika medu kana kuti tave nhapwa kuneimwe nyika? What’s so special about ZUPCO? Do people in ZUPCO not contract Corona Virus? Zvimwe mozvinyanya boys dzangu. Dzorai Moyo yenyu vanhu vomunidai ava rimwe gore muchazovademba. Zvamunenge mavakutotora chinzvimbo chamwari.”
A survey by Bustop TV News showed that since government embarked on a blitz to impound, arrest and fine citizens, transport woes have worsened .