Michell Zvanyanya, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO is set to have 76 more Zupco buses to ease transport problems in the province, with President Mnangagwa expected to commission them on Friday.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Judith Ncube said this during the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association’s official launch of the Dutch bakery in Entumbane suburb, Bulawayo yesterday.
The commissioning of the buses will bring the Zupco fleet in the city to 169.
Zupco buses charge $1,50 per trip on routes that private operators charge $5. Zupco has also introduced 80 kombis in Bulawayo that charge $2 per trip.
The latest batch of buses to be commissioned by the President are part of the 1 000 ordered from China with another 500 buses bought from Belarus.
Cde Ncube said the commissioning of the buses will coincide with that of the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Innovation Hub and the institution’s graduation ceremony.
“On Friday the President will be officially commissioning 76 buses in Bulawayo. He will embark on two other key activities which include commissioning of the Nust Innovation Hub and capping of Nust graduates,” she said.
“I am happy that the President saw it fit to come to our rescue as Bulawayo residents. I was however expecting about 100 or more buses for Bulawayo but there is need for us to share the cake with our rural provinces and other provinces.
“We therefore appreciate the little that we have received as a city because the buses are going to make a huge difference in terms of access to affordable transport.”
Cde Ncube commended Government for its commitment to ease transport challenges by availing reliable and affordable transport to the people.
She said the increase in the number of buses is meant to bring relief to Bulawayo residents that are being ripped off by private operators.
“We really appreciate the introduction of these Zupco buses that have bought relief to our commuters. The transport woes will be a thing of the past now that members of the public have more access to affordable transportation that values safety of its commuters. We still need a lot of Zupco buses to serve a great purpose to our populace,” said Cde Ncube.
The 76 buses are part of an overall Government drive to revamp the sector and introduce a mass transport system.
Meanwhile, Cde Ncube said the commissioning of the Nust Innovation Hub reflects active participation of State universities in contributing towards industrialisation of the country.
She said it also reflects spirit of unity in the nation as we are moving towards achieving sustainable development.
“The commissioning of the Nust Innovation Hub reflects efforts made by the important university in Bulawayo in contributing to economic development. This development will automatically promote creation of employment.
“The participation of the Head of State in such projects also means a lot and it demonstrates the importance of us as a nation uniting for a purpose to achieve sustainable development using our own tools and machinery,” said Cde Ncube.
Government has already commissioned the University of Zimbabwe and Midlands State University’s innovation hubs and the President has said that universities should drive the transformational trajectory towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
Zupco acting chief executive officer, Mr Everisto Madangwa, said they want the fleet for Bulawayo to reach 295.
He said kombis are 80 and the parastatal is targeting 223.—@michellzvanyanyan2