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MRP petitions govt on ZUPCO monopoly

Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), has petitioned the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led administration on the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) monopoly on public transport in Bulawayo, calling for its abolition as a matter of urgency.

Under the government’s Covid-19 control measures despite its inefficiencies, ZUPCO has been made the sole public transport in urban centres.

Private players are now mandated to register with ZUPCO for them to continue operating, a development that has created a crisis in the urban transport sector with commuters spending many hours queuing for ZUPCO buses before traveling from one point to another.

In a petition dated May 10 Transport Minister, Felix Mhona, copied to President Mnangagwa, Ministers of Local Government and Home Affairs, Police Commissioner-general, officer commanding Bulawayo province, Bulawayo provincial affairs Minister and the city’s mayor and town clerk, MRP president, Mqondisi Moyo, called for justice in the transport sector.

“I the President of Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), in empathy with private transport operators and the general public, is greatly disturbed by the government’s position on the transport industry, particularly in Mthwakazi,” said Moyo.

“The position forbids anyone to venture into public transport unless they affiliate with ZUPCO. When this position was first taken in 2020, it was shielded under the measures to control the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. It has now become clear that this has nothing to do with Covid -19. Those operating under ZUPCO are not adhering to the regulations of Covid-19 anymore. Besides, their trip fares are as high as those charged by transporters not registered with ZUPCO.”

He said affiliation with ZUPCO should be on a voluntary basis instead of being made mandatory.

“We have come to understand well that a ban on private vehicles in public transportation is nothing but a gimmick to monopolise the transport industry,” said the MRP leader.

“As in any monopoly, there are very few people who are benefitting. In this case, it is those linked to ZANU PF. Entrepreneurs and the general public are on the receiving end, being sacrificed for a select few. The private operators of public transport were convenient in ferrying school children to and from school, particularly in the Central Business District, something kombis under ZUPCO are not doing.”

He added: “We say NO to monopolistic business tendencies by Mnangagwa linked cartels disguised as ZUPCO. Traffic control in the CBD should be returned to Bulawayo Metropolitan Police. Zimbabwe Republic Police have failed dismally in this area. They are corrupt, and the fines collected are not channelled towards developing the city as would have been the case if Metropolitan Police were in charge.”

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