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Govt steps up kombi seizures

by Staff reporter
09 Nov 2020 at 06:59hrs | Views
Government has warned private kombis which are not under the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) service that they risk having their vehicles seized if they operate outside the state transport operator's stable.

Urban transport services for the carriage of passengers is restricted to those provided by ZUPCO as provided for in Section 2(a) of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order 2020.

Private kombis which disappeared at the height of the COVID-19 restrictions have begun reappearing on the roads and government expressed concern at these Illegal operations warning Zimbabweans not to think that the pandemic was over.

"The government strongly advises the private operators and the public. This is a health induced transport strategy, that is meant to ensure that the further spread of COVID 19 is contained.

"The country is not yet out of the woods, since we still have cases of COVID-19. The regulations were put in place to prevent, contain, and treat COVID 19, are not meant to disadvantage those who invested in the transport, or any other sector, but to ensure that the objectives of the regulations are met," the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works said in a statement.

"Any kombi or bus operator trying to ply intra-city routes in Harare or any city/ town in Zimbabwe without a ZUPCO sticker, pirate vehicles (mshikashika), all vehicles using undesignated pick up points, risk being penalized and having their vehicles seized as provided for in the obtaining legislation."

Many private operators have resisted and continue to resist efforts to co-opt them under the ZUPCO banner with some saying it is unprofitable and the public operator has struggled to fill the void leaving commuters stranded. Government, however insists that these operators are resisting only because they were never registered in the first place.

"We note with great concern, that the operators who resist working with ZUPCO are usually those that are not registered, and do not meet the requirements. We direct that private kombi and bus operators who intend to operate in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo and any other town or urban area, register and work with ZUPCO.

"Those who wish to join the partnership should register their intention to do so with ZUPCO. The service is open to all kombi and bus owners who meet the stated requirements."

The requirements for drivers to join the ZUPCO partnership are driver's particulars, valid driver's license, medical fitness, retest, defensive driving certificate and government authority. For the operator bus/omnibus compliance a current vehicle license, vehicle insurance, certificate of fitness, passenger insurance and VID clearance are required.

Government says it is committed to have sanity in the urban (Intra-city) transport services, and emphasised that law enforcement agents have the authority to penalize those who contravene the law.

The local government ministry also wants local authorities to enforce the transport by-laws that they have and to continue working together with ZUPCO in upgrading the transport infrastructure and providing shelters at designated termini and bus stops.

Source - theancher

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