By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
The Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) president, Tafadzwa Goliath has condemned government for prioritising ZUPCO vehicles only while turning a blind eye to private vehicles who were legally registered for public transportation.
He also indicated that the precedence has infringed the rights of passengers to choose vehicles they want to board as a result of limited choice.
“As passengers its our right to choose the public transport we want, either ZUPCO buses and kombis or legally registered vehicles owned by private kombi owners,” he said.
Last week, president Emmerson Mnangagwa, commissioned a batch of 50 more ZUPCO buses at the company’s headquarters in Harare, bringing the number of all buses that ZUPCO has received so far to 212.
Goliath hailed the initiative. He however went on to describe that the buses are not enough to serve all citizens in Zimbabwe.
The PAZ president also said the situation will be worsened when schools open in few weeks to come.
He added that due to limited public transport teachers and students will have no choice but to board ZUPCO buses and kombis.
However, apart from limited public transport, Goliath urged government to focus on fixing all delapidated roads.
“Due to this year’s heavy rainfall, roads are in poor condition, we also urge government to fix this problem.
“We have figured out that some of these imported buses cannot manage to travel in delapidated roads, forcing drivers not drop passengers before they reach their destinations,” the PAZ president added.
All these disgruntlements follows after goverment ordered that all public transport should be registered under the franchise of ZUPCO buses.
This was during last year’s imposed strict lockdown regulations in March.
Government banned all public transport as a manner to reduce the spread of Covid-19 virus.
Nonetheless, a number of public transport owners differed with the government’s directive due to various reasons including poor returns.
No consesus was reached between the two parties with private vehicle owners opting to park their vehicles whilst government strictly emphasised on legal operation of kombis and buses registered under ZUPCO only.
Meanwhile, Goliath told Bustop TV reporter that a number of ZUPCO vehicles operate without insuarance covers.
He also urged government to take action towards other unlawful activities that are taking place at ZUPCO.