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ZUPCO set to launch a new cargo division

by Staff Reporter
18 Jun 2013 at 10:46hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) will launch a new cargo division during the last quarter of this year to support its traditional passenger business, chief executive Mr Brian Chawasarira said last week. In an interview, Mr Chawasarira said the company would spend "quite a substantial" amount in the business unit.

"We are starting a cargo unit in the third quarter," said Mr Chawasarira.

"We have realised that Zimbabwe is now an agro economy and to help the indigenous farmers, we will be starting a cargo unit to help farmers bring their produce to the markets. It will be a strategic business unit within Zupco and we are just differentiating our operations instead of just concentrating on the (traditional) passenger operations."

Mr Chawasarira added that Zupco was running a three-year strategic programme which aims to recapitalise the company at a rate of 100 buses every year. The plan began in 2011.

"From 2011 to 2012, we have been meeting our targets. We are currently running a fleet of 204 busses and we recently concluded a deal for the purchase of 100 buses which include luxury coaches. We have also realised that most Zimbabweans are now in informal trade. So we want to be able to give them a better service especially towards cross border operations," said Mr Chawasarira.

Zupco used to be the most reliable public transport operator before the turn of the new millennium, boasting a fleet of more than 800 buses.

Some analysts have blamed challenges facing the parastatal on poor management while some believe the entry of private commuter omnibus operators into the public transport sector affected the company operations.

Last week, business ground to a halt after the Sherriff of the High Court attached property worth thousands of dollars over a debt of more than US$763 000. Many Zupco employees who had reported for duty on Friday were left in shock after the Sheriff attached all buses and vehicles at the company premises in Belvedere, ZBC News reported.

Zupco owes Parkhorse Services, the official distributor of Scania buses in Zimbabwe, more than US$763 000.

The debt emanated from a deal in which Zupco was supplied 50 Scania buses from Parkhorse Services but allegedly failed to pay in full. However, the attached assets were returned after both parties agreed to "amicably" resolve the matter.

Source - Herald