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ZUDAC affiliates extort passengers, corrupt

by Gideon Madzikatidze
20 Mar 2024 at 21:07hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC), including its affiliates, have been fingered in an extortion scandal and being accomplices in abusing commuting passengers, an investigation exposee has observed the rot.

Speaking on condition of anonymity with this publication, one of the passengers invited a journalist to observe how they were held at ransom by some ZUDAC affiliates from the Ushewekunze maTeacher loading bay at the Market Square Main Rank up until final destination (Takaz offloading station) where they were forced to pay fares beyond their reach and as agreed from point of departure.

"Upon boarding commuter omnibuses at the rank, we were told that a trip will cost us$1 fare, but surprisingly, on our way were told its been hiked upto us$1,50," the disgruntled passenger said.

"We therefore plead with the government and responsible authorities to intervene in this prescribed route fare disequilibrium," he added.

"This is totally unfair especially when passengers were charged a certain fare in the rank during loading, and later on shortchanged during the course of the trip," the passenger complained.

One of the fleet owned by a J. Manyonga (Chikonaz) with a Southley Park address which is registered under ZUDAC was part of the culprits in this passengers extortion scam.

"This vehicle and operator's license doesn't belong to the rank marshals, you should pay the fare that the conductors has told you. We want dollar fifty cents and anything below that, we will take the money and force you to disembark forthright," a driver by the moniker Boltcutter said in retaliation.

"Its not time to plead, but just pay according to what we have ordered you to. Otherwise we will abort this trip before the final destination or you all disembark at Mbudzi Interchange which is the distance equivalent to dollar," Boltcutter boasts.

Contacted by the journalist about the altercation during the trip by the Journalist, one of the rank marshals distances self from such behaviour and confirmed that he was off duty, but will look into that.

"Yes I know Chikonaz Transport under J. Manyonga and the driver, Boltcutter. However, we discourage those drivers for shortchanging commuting passengers," the rank marshal said.

"Its unfortunate that am off duty today, but we will definitely address that on Monday when I report for duty," he promised.

Meanwhile, ZUDAC president Frederick Maguramhinga was evasive when contacted for comment on why his organisation and its affiliates were co-ordinating an operation to shortchange commuting passengers.

Maguramhinga promised to craft strategies in resolving the scam which has become rife amongst his affiliates without clearly disclosing how he will reprimand the culprits.

"Its one of those challenges which we are facing as an organisation. We received such reports before and preparations are at an advance stage to punish the culprits," Maguramhinga said.

"Its unfortunate that I am not yet at liberty to disclose the nature of measures we will be taking in correcting the abnormalities, but we will definitely deal with it. You shall see changes," Maguramhinga added.

Maguramhinga pleaded with this publication to withhold publishing the story whilst a lasting solution is sought.

"If you want positive solution, do not publish this story please. We will make sure that all culprits are brought to order," Maguramhinga said.

Cabinet has already approved the amendment of the Urban Areas (Omnibus Services) Regulations, which has be gazetted.

The updated regulations  ensure strict enforcement of regulations that require an operator’s licence, certificate of fitness and route authority.

All kombis should also be required to obtain a valid rank disk from council as well as passenger and vehicle insurance before they are allowed to ferry commuters.

Source - Byo24News