By Lloyd Takawira
The Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has accused drivers operating under ZUPCO of violating road rules and putting their lives at risk.
Speaking to this reporter, PAZ national coordinator, Tafadzwa Goliati said that despite regulations that befits a national transporter some ZUPCO operators are behaving like pirate taxis.
“While government’s efforts to both resuscitate and reinstate ZUPCO as the backbone of the country’s mass public transport system are commendable, we strongly feel the noble initiative is defeated by some of the infractions committed in broad daylight by the transporter and its many franchisees.
“These include but are not limited to; loading of passengers far beyond the numbers stipulated by government; inconsistent sanitising of passengers upon boarding as well as failure to wear face masks at all times by some defiant bus crews.
“We have also noted that some ZUPCO branded buses plying our roads are not displaying number plates. They are only displaying fleet numbers and chassis numbers, which makes it difficult for one to trace them when road traffic accidents result in death or injury on victims who would want to institute formalities to claim some compensation.”
Goliati added that these were disregarding World Health Organizations Covid-19 pandemic regulations.
“Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) notes with growing concern the open disregard for both World Health Organisation and national Covid-19 prevention protocols by public transporter ZUPCO and its many franchise holders.”
For Goliati, some ZUPCO bound operators are now behaving like pirate taxis.
“Through this brazen flouting of regulations, it is apparent that ZUPCO bus operators have done nothing to show they are any different from pirate taxi transporters (mushikashika) known for practising the rules of the jungle.”
There has been concerns over transport woes affecting mostly commuters to highly populated localities.