Commuter omnibus owners, operating under the banner of Tshova Mubaiwa in Bulawayo have rejected a move by the government to have their vehicles placed under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) franchise citing a number of reasons.
The government, which is battling to address the urban transport crisis, is mobilising over 200 kombis to service urban routes in addition to a few ZUPCO that have been failing to cope with demand.
The move is aimed at having affordable fares for commuters in the city.
ZUPCO today held a meeting in Bulawayo with kombi owners to explain the newest scheme in the transport sector.
“I am just from the meeting between kombi owners and ZUPCO officials and they (kombi owners) have rejected the move to put their Kombis under ZUPCO,” Tshova Mubaiwa Chairman, Atlas Moyo, told CITE.
“They said their vehicles will not be subjected to work from
4 am up to 10 pm, so they refused to have their vehicles operate under ZUPCO.”
Under the scheme, transport owners only provide drivers while ZUPCO avails conductors, something the former says is for transparency purposes.
Moyo said kombi owners shot down that down, arguing they cannot abandon their touts with whom they have worked for years.
“They also rejected the move to not use their conductors, saying it was difficult to just drop people they have worked with over the years,” said Moyo.
“They said they want to use their drivers and conductors. They also said that they have also managed to discipline their workers for over the years. As operations we have had disciplinary committees for over the years and we have also managed to put order.” said.
Expricoss Chairperson, Nsikelelo Ngangezwe Khumalo, said their association had not yet been consulted.
Expricoss is an association mostly made up of operators whose use small vehicles.
“As an association, we have not been consulted, we only heard the news through media; we have been isolated,” said Khumalo.
“We cannot join something which we have not been consulted on. As an association we have ways of running these associations; we cannot just be part of something which we were not approached about in the first place.
He, however, said they were also having challenges with fuel and also looking forward to being rescued from that.
We have also had challenges of fuel and eager to be rescued,” he said.
Director of Bulawayo United Public Transport Association (BUPTA), Morgan Msipa, told CITE he did not attend the meeting.
“I was not part of the meeting so I cannot comment on that as I was not part of,” he said.
ZUPCO Bulawayo manager, Modreck Zivende, said proper documentation was a prerequisite to operators registering their kombis under the company.
“Anyone can register their Kombi under ZUPCO, associations or even individuals,” said Zivende.