Zupco bus breakdown leaves passengers stranded

Passengers en route to Nkayi aboard a Zupco bus were left stranded after the bus had a breakdown just outside Bulawayo amid reports most of the buses had been commandeered to ferry delegates attending the Zanu PF congress in Harare.

The bus scheduled to leave Bulawayo heading to Nkayi around 9 am on Thursday had a breakdown just 12 km away from the city.

Speaking to CITE, one passenger said the bus management refused to refund them.

“We boarded the bus around 9 am and it had a breakdown just after we left the CBD. They knew the bus had a fault because really, we did not travel that long, it was just 12km away from Bulawayo. We were taken to the Zupco garage and dumped there,” said the passenger.

He said when the passengers asked for another bus, they were told that the other buses had been deployed to the Zanu-PF congress in Harare.

“We paid a fare of US$8 and they refused to refund us that money so that we could look for alternative transport since we have been inconvenienced. When we asked for another bus, they told us there is no extra bus as all buses were deployed to the Zanu-PF congress,” said the passenger.

He added, “We are saddened by this experience because we were not treated well, some people were rushing to work but have since been delayed. We slept here without any food and with no one attending to us.”

Contacted for a comment, ZUPCO Khami Depot manager Gift Rukweza acknowledged that the bus had a fault.

“There was a breakdown and the mechanic went and found that there was a major defect, they brought it this side and it was noted that there is a part that needed to be bought,” said Rukweza.

He however said they told passengers that they could take them home and they return once the bus has been fixed.

“We told people that we can deliver them to their homes for those who had places to go to and they would come when the bus is sorted but they refused and said they will sleep by the bus at the garage. I even asked whether they are sure of it and they said they are sure,“ said Rukweza.

He said he checked the bus in the morning and the mechanic had assured him that within 10 mins the problem would be resolved.

“The breakdown has disadvantaged the public and the organization, we don’t go along with that, I am sorry about that,” said Rukweza.

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