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ZUPCO drivers strike over salaries

Commuters in Bulawayo braved the wet weather conditions, Thursday, as some Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) drivers downed tools in protest over salary payment delays.

The commuter omnibus owners who contracted their vehicles to ZUPCO said they were was an agreement that they will be paid ZWL$7 200 per day but they were yet to receive their January payments.

When a CITE news crew visited the Kelvin depot, the Kombi owners were gathered outside waiting to be addressed by the management.

They vowed to park their vehicles until their demands are met.

“We have parked our cars because ZUPCO is breaching the contract we have with them. We had agreed that we are going to receive our salaries within two weeks, but we are not getting the money as it is, we have not yet received our money for January,” said one Kombi owner.

She said they are being paid in RTGS while fares are also being charged in forex.

“They are giving us RTGS while our cars are also cashing in Rands and United States Dollars, all we want is the Government is to look into this issue so that we can also maybe receive half-pay as bonds,” she said.

“Our employees are also blaming us for the delay in payment because its unfair to give someone RTGS which comes after one month when there is inflation in the country, how do we expect them to survive? We are struggling to educate our children or to even service our vehicles,” she said.

Another Kombi owner said they are not happy with the way they were being treated by the ZUPCO management.

“When we started we had an agreement that we are going to receive our salary every fortnight but now it goes past one month without us being paid,” he said.

He added that the working conditions for the drivers are also not conducive.

“The working conditions for our drivers are also not conducive because at the end of the day the driver will be tired and they expect us to employ two drivers but we cant sustain that kind of arrangement. We cannot afford to employ two drivers so at the end of the day we are now risking the lives of passengers.”

Contacted for a comment, ZUPCO Chief Executive Officer, Everisto Madangwa declined to comment saying he was in a meeting.

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