Tshova Mubaiwa to make comeback

16 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Tshova Mubaiwa to make comeback Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT is in the process of coming up with regulations to guide the liberalisation of the public transport sector.

To improve the public transport system, Government in 2020 directed players in the sector to join the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) franchise to address lack of professionalism.

However, some operators did not join the sector and on several occasions, they have clashed with law enforcement agents.

Of late the country has been recording an increase in transport challenges as Zupco is struggling to cope with demand.

In a post-Cabinet briefing last Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has started implementing measures to open up the public transport sector.

Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo

This is in line with President Mnangagwa’s directive announced two weeks ago to allow private players to operate.

“Government is in the process of coming up with relevant regulations to enable liberalisation of the public transport sector.

These will include the licensing of operators on any given route.

The regulations will go a long way in alleviating the plight of urban commuters.

Government takes this opportunity to assure citizens that it has the travelling public interests at heart, and will expend all efforts to ensure that the situation is expeditiously ameliorated.

The nation will be kept abreast of developments on this matter,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Players in the public sector have said they are eagerly waiting for the new transport policy that will get them back into business.

A pirate kombi driver, Mr Dumisani Sibanda, said they were looking forward to being regularised.

“We want to thank the Government for announcing a new policy position.

But we are waiting to hear about the specific terms of the new policy.

As we were operating illegally, we couldn’t get a fitness certificate for our vehicles as we were not considered to be providing public transport.

So, we are anxiously waiting to be allowed to get fitness certificates as well as routes where we should operate in as well as loading bays.

We are tired of always running away from law enforcement agents,” said Mr Sibanda.

Another driver, Mr Trymore Mufunda, said operating illegally has been a challenge for him.

He said transporters can also contribute to economic growth if given a chance.

“Life has been tough for us but if the measures will allow us to work, pay taxes and contribute to our families, they will be most welcome. It is not sustainable to be always looking over our shoulders as we are operating illegally,” he said.

Tshova Mubaiwa marketing director, Mr Ndabazabo Mabunda, said it was too early to celebrate.

“It’s very hard to have a concrete comment vis-a-vis something that we are reading from the Press.

We hope to be contacted as a sector and we are still observing what is happening,” said Mr Mabunda.

Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mlandu Ncube welcomed the proposed plan to reopen the public transport sector to private players.

Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mlandu Ncube

He said his hope is that the regulations will bring order in the city in line with the Bulawayo Public Transport Policy which compelled all kombis to operate under an association.

“As a city we have a proper transport policy which is still in place and we hope those structures will bring order in the city.

This policy could even ease the works for council and end these cat and mouse chases between law enforcement agents including our council security and kombi crews.

“If everyone is regulated, it will be much easier to supervise them because everyone will be under Zupco or an association.

The policy will also address the problem of having unroadworthy vehicles on our roads,” he said.

The city had three recognised commuter omnibus associations; Tshova Mubaiwa, Bulawayo Public Transporters Association and Bulawayo City Transit Association.

Tshova Mubaiwa

Clr Ncube said the opening of the transport sector will also contribute to improved livelihoods for some residents.

“The transport sector supported a lot of families.

It supported a driver, a conductor and even the owner of the vehicle.

But as they return, we hope this will give them an opportunity to grow their business.

“There is also a need for them to migrate from kombis to larger transport modes such as buses because it is much smarter to transport people in larger volumes,” said Clr Ncube.

– @nqotshili

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