By Trevor Makonyonga
The Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has approached the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works seeking audience concerning ZUPCO’s inefficiency.
In a letter to the ministry, PAZ President, Tafadzwa Goriati, raised an issue that the Zimbabwe United Passenger company (ZUPCO) has been disregarding World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid 19 guidelines.
“We, Passengers Association of Zimbabwe, being a representative body of passengers inclusive of people who commute using passenger service vehicles have noted shortcomings from ZUPCO for which we are recommending that your ministry take note and accordingly mandate duly corrective action.
“ZUPCO has largely been disregarding World Health Organization’s guidelines, with regard to consistently sanitizing passengers; ensuring that it strictly has seated passengers, with no standing ; checking passengers’ temperatures; ensuring that passengers step on disinfecting trays upon boarding the bus; disinfecting both buses and the termini; ensuring that people queuing observe social distancing and no individual should queue for more than an hour,” said Goriati.
He also mentioned that buses that are unroadworthy are being used in cities to ferry passengers to and from various destinations.
“Most buses under the ZUPCO franchise are practically unroadworthy, with loose breaks, endemically prone to break-downs and having untidy insides and broken-down seats. New buses have no number plates and according to our observations are not registered with the Central Vehicle Registry implying that these vehicles will be lacking Passenger Liability Cover (Passenger Insurance).”
The PAZ President recommended that more players be introduced as ZUPCO alone has failed to meet the demand.
“We, passengers have a serious shortage of transport. We recommend the we allow registered people to operate using the Bulawayo City model over the country’s city.” Goriati said.
The transport situation has been dire in the country with the rise of robberies by private cars who pretend to be friendly to the passengers.