COMMUTERS and residents groups have urged government to end the ZUPCO monopoly blasting recent moves to punish stranded commuting public who resort to using unauthorised transport.
The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) denounced the fining of stranded commuters saying the blame lied with the government which continues to stick with the ZUPCO monopoly despite glaring signs of ineffectiveness.
“Commuters stranded in the central business district should not be fined at all. The problem is with the government that maintains a monopoly by an inefficient and ineffective ZUPCO transport system,” said HRT.
The residents grouping urged government to hold the minister of local government and public works to account for inflicting pain on commuters who go through the rigors of waiting long hours for transport to and from their homes every day.
“The solution in the interim is to remove the ZUPCO monopoly and allow roadworthy kombis to operate. After all some of the ZUPCO buses on the road are unroad-worthy,” added HRT.
HRT also warned government that failure to address the transport blues being faced by the commuting public was brewing resentment against the establishment.
“The resentment towards the government is increasing by the day! The government has no one to blame when the people turn their back on them.
“They are provoking the people daily through making them go through painful experiences as they struggle to leave town and reach their homes. In the mornings, the situation is the same,” added HRT.
MDC Alliance Secretary for Transport, Settlement Chikwinya had no kind words for the government over recent ‘unimaginable’ moves to fine commuting public who use unauthorised public transport.
Chikwinya said insistence on ZUPCO when it was failing corroborates the alleged reports of looting by the ruling ZANU PF leadership.
“The insistence of government on the current ZUPCO model where in the buses are always over Loaded and do not observe any Covid-19 protocol simply corroborates the fact that the ZUPCO initiative is one among many of the looting vehicles by close associates to Zanupf leadership,” said Chikwanya.
Opposition LEAD president Linda Masarira urged Government to allow registered transport cooperatives to assist ZUPCO cope with the transport needs as commuters are getting robbed in ZUPCO queues which often stretch into evenings, well beyond curfew times.
“ZUPCO alone can’t service the commuting people of Zimbabwe. Government needs to revisit the urban public transport strategy & allow registered transport co-operatives to assist ZUPCO to transport the nation. Commuter trains should be reintroduced as well,” said Masarira.
Her party also urged Government to immediately resolve the messy public transportation system as a matter of urgency.
“The transport woes in Harare are a ticking time bomb and super spreaders of COVID-19
Commuters are being frustrated and left vulnerable to criminals during the evenings as ZUPCO buses stop playing routes at 7pm. Not owning a car isn’t a crime,” LEAD said.
Poverty Liberation Movement has also urged government to stop fining commuters saying the ZUPCO was textbook example of an inefficient transport system.
“The Poverty Liberation Movement demands that government and the ZRP leave the poor with their transport of choice until ZUPCO is truly competitive and efficient,” the party said.
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