COMMENT: Ruthlessly punish errant bus crews operating in Bulawayo

25 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
COMMENT: Ruthlessly punish errant bus crews operating in Bulawayo Buses picking passenger in undesignated points

The Chronicle

THE recent decision by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to suspend the operating licences of two bus companies in Harare after their drivers committed reckless driving and speeding offences, was music in the ears of progressive residents who want to see order restored in Bulawayo.

As we reported yesterday, there are now growing calls for the Government to suspend the operating licences of errant public transport operators who flout traffic rules and regulations by picking and dropping off passengers at undesignated places in Bulawayo’s city centre.

If the operating licences of Rimbi Tours and Zebra Kiss buses were suspended from operating on all routes across the country in a bid to protect passengers, the same must be done in Bulawayo where lives are put at risk and the city is defaced daily.

We have argued before in this space that bus operators picking and dropping passengers outside Bulawayo Theatre and the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe are defacing a national tourist attraction which would be respected and protected in other countries.

The Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, which was officially opened in 1964 and is one of the best in southern Africa, is famous for displaying the second-largest mounted elephant in the world.

If a bus company’s operating licence cannot be suspended for committing such an offence against a place of national heritage, an offence which sets back the national economy, then what other crime should they commit against the people of Zimbabwe?

Long-distance buses are lined up daily along Leopold Takawira, outside Eveline High School and Centenary Park and corner Fort Street and 8th Avenue, which is now a de facto bus rank for those travelling to Harare and other areas along the Bulawayo-Harare Highway.

These errant bus operators, who are paying council officials to destroy their own city, do so because they know that no one will suspend their operating licences.

Buses in the city centre (Picture by Panashe Zingoni)

Bulawayo Bus Operators Association chairperson Mr Patrick Dube told our reporter that buses operating from illegal bus ranks are “known by all and sundry” and called for the immediate suspension of their operating licences.

“The suspension of the operators’ licences was a decisive move which sent a clear message to operators flouting traffic rules and regulations and the same should happen here,” said Mr Dube.

He said members of his association operate from Renkini, Entumbane Bus Terminus, Nkulumane Complex and Hamara.

Said Bulawayo United Residents’ Association chairperson Mr Winos Dube: “The buses that are parking and picking up people at undesignated places such as at Centenary Park, must have their licences withdrawn like what happened to the two bus companies in Harare.”

We pray that Government will answer our prayers and cancel the operating licences for all errant bus companies that are bent on flouting council by-laws, destroying the city’s image, and defacing tourist attractions.

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