Nduduzo Tshuma Senior Reporter
THE Central Mechanical Engineering Department (CMED) and the Zimbabwe Passenger Company (Zupco) have approached the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) over an arrangement that will see their buses plying the city’s urban routes.
The move could be an indication of the beginning of the phasing out of kombis in line with government’s programme to decongest urban roads as announced by Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Dr Obert Mpofu recently.
Giving a vote of thanks at a council transport workshop last Friday, Ward 23 Councillor Thobani Ncube said the local authority had been approached by the two organisations inquiring about the city’s infrastructure.
“CMED and Zupco have been in touch with us, they want to bring their buses here and were asking about our infrastructure but we told them that they need to fit within our transport policy,” said Ncube.
Yesterday, BCC chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou said the proposal was still in its infancy.
“There are no finer details at the moment but just to say that they approached us indicating that they wanted to bring buses. We told them that they needed to fit into the city’s transport policy,” said Zhou.
“The whole thing is at its initial phase. They did not say how they intend to operate. If there are any details that will emerge with time, we will let you know.”
Dr Mpofu recently said the proposed phasing out of kombis in urban areas was irreversible and urged operators to start investing in big capacity vehicles.
The minister said the phasing out of kombis was necessitated by congestion that the commuter omnibuses were causing in cities and towns, a development also blamed for the upsurge in traffic accidents.
He, however, said the government was not shutting out kombi operators but was prepared to assist them buy the required vehicles.
Dr Mpofu said the ministry would soon stop issuing road permits to low capacity vehicles to encourage investment towards big buses.