Government shuts door on non-Zupco kombis

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT has insisted that commuter omnibus operators in urban centres have to operate under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) ambit as it brings sanity to the transport sector.

Last week, Cabinet gave commuter operators plying intercity routes the greenlight to start operating.

The nod gave hope to those plying urban routes that they could be back on the road soon.

However, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo clarified during last Wednesday’s National Assembly’s Question and Answer session that the door is still shut for urban kombi operators.

Minister Moyo said Government was remodelling the urban transport sector to make it more organised and operators who want to have their vehicles on the road should register their vehicles under the Zupco scheme.

“It is indeed Government policy to rationalise the urban transport system and the choice of Zupco is not to create a monopoly at the exclusion of other operators.

“That is why every operator has been given an opportunity with their vehicles, buses or commuter omnibus to register with Zupco so that we can make sure that the routes are well marked and we can rationalise everywhere in the urban centres.

“When it comes to the inter-city which is the responsibility of the Minister of Transport, he can answer that part of it. We are clear what we want to achieve is a rationalised urban transport system in this country,” said Minister Moyo.

Some kombi crews had become known for their notoriety and disrespect of clients.

Speaking on the same subject, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said Government opened up the transport sector for intercity travel to facilitate easy access to resort areas.

“We have opened the inter-city to allow for those areas that are interlinked that have been opened for instance tourism. It has been opened so there is need to link tourists who travel by bus to be able to go to places like Victoria Falls and other areas. So those have been opened and opened to operators who satisfy the guidelines set by our taskforce. I’m happy that many have complied and our roads are being plied by those who did comply,” said Minister Matiza.

He said taxi operators have also been given the green light to start operating.

“Metered transport especially the taxis, we have also allowed to start operating subject to the guidelines that have been put in place. In fact, we have gone further to allow Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and Driving Schools to allow the testing of taxi drivers as well. The whole chain has been taken care of in terms of metered vehicles,” he said.

The Minister commended the police for ensuring compliance on the roads.-@nqotshili

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