PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday commissioned 115 Zupco buses as the Government continues to rebuild the company’s fleet with regular deliveries of new buses.
The commissioning ceremony was the eighth since January 2019, with 432 buses now added to the fleet in just over two years.
As part of the Second Republic’s measures to upgrade services, the Government wants to see Zupco provide safe, reliable and affordable transport in both rural and urban areas.
But besides ensuring Zupco has an ever-larger fleet, the President also made it clear that he wants the company to use that fleet fully, efficiently and properly to provide services in every corner of the country with no one or place being left behind.
He also thanked the private bus operators who have joined the Zupco franchise to give an even larger fleet.
“Zupco should therefore, operate at the highest level of efficiency in line with our vision of a modern, highly integrated multi-modal transport which can play a key role in the development of our economic and social sectors.
“Given that we have now transitioned from stabilisation to growth, the workforce should not spend valuable productive time waiting for transport,” said President Mnangagwa.
He commended the Zupco partnership with the National Railways of Zimbabwe to ferry the commuting public to work saying it was bearing fruit.
“In line with Government’s intention to partially privatise Zupco, as highlighted in the 2022 National Budget, I am informed that some investors, including sons and daughters of our country have entered into arrangements with local bus assembly companies.
“This will create jobs as well as lower the cost of bus procurement in foreign currency as many of the parts can be sourced locally.
“I therefore challenge local entrepreneurs to be bolder and embark in the manufacturing of components, taking advantage of the enabling environment created under the Second Republic,” he said.
The President applauded private sector transport operators for their service in both rural and urban areas and invited more players to complement Government efforts in providing reliable and efficient transport services.
“I urge Zupco to implement contemporary fleet management practices including time-tabling and ensuring that their buses service areas where they are needed most, so that the commuting public do not spend unnecessary time waiting in queues.
“I also task the Zupco management committee to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to mitigate the plague of accidents such as retraining of staff as well as properly service and maintain their fleet of buses. Zupco must be a beacon of service excellency,” he said.
When the programme was launched in 2019, President Mnangagwa said Zupco had 76 buses but the fleet had since grown significantly.
“We are building. Brick upon brick, one batch of buses upon another batch,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga said the continued capacitation of Zupco has seen the utility with 432 additional buses in the last two years.
He commended the leadership of President Mnangagwa saying through him, the transport delivery system had been improved.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo said Zupco will continue to grow owing to the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa.
The event was attended by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Province Oliver Chidawu, senior Government and Zanu-PF officials.