Zupco drivers stage sit-in, commuters left stranded

Commuters in Bulawayo were Monday left stranded after Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) drivers staged a sit-in protest against salary payment delays and poor working conditions.

The strike lasted for few hours before the authorities reached a consensus with the drivers that they will attend to the issues they raised.

The drivers gave the authorities a two-day ultimatum to resolve their grievances.

Pirate taxis took advantage of the transport challenges to charge a premium to ferry the commuters to their various destinations.

Commuters had to part with at least US$1 for a single trip.

Last week, Zupco reviewed their bus fares upwards from ZWL$40 to ZWL$50 while those who prefer commuter omnibuses will now pay ZWL$60 up from ZWL$50.

Some of the drivers who spoke to CITE said there is no proper payment structure.  

“There is no fixed payment structure for drivers, others get paid weekly while others monthly. Other employees get paid in United States dollars, Rands, Eco-cash while other drivers get paid using RTGS,” said one of the drivers.

Another driver said they work long hours and resort to sleeping at the depot.

“We knock off around 11 pm and they collect us for duty around 1 am. Other drivers are now opting to sleep at the depot. There are other supervisors who were also bullying us, the superiors said the issue will be looked into and either they will be demoted or removed from those positions completely.”

Contacted for a comment, ZUPCO Southern Region Manager, Tinaye Rwasoka said he doesn’t talk to the media.

ZUPCO Chief Executive Officer, Everisto Madangwa said he was in a meeting.

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