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Zupco to acquire 500 buses

by Staff reporter
06 Sep 2014 at 07:29hrs | Views

ZUPCO will acquire around 500 buses within the next few months to ease transport shortages in the country, Parliament was told.

Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Joel Matiza on Wednesday told the National Assembly that the programme of commuter omnibus holding bays which was introduced in Harare would also be extended to become national.

Matiza had been asked by Glen Norah MP Webster Maondera (MDC-T) to explain measures he was going to take to bring normalcy in urban transport where children were being run over during running battles between commuter bus operators and the police.

"Zupco is going to address that issue and we are going to acquire 500 or so buses within the next few months, which will mainly be deployed on the urban routes," Matiza said.

"The exercise of holding bays is going to be a national programme to ensure that the law of the jungle is put to an end."

However, MP for Gweru Urban Sesel Zvidzai (MDC-T) felt Zupco might bring in thousands of buses, but they were better off competing for rural long-distance routes than urban ones.

Another MDC-T MP Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma) said there was need to ensure Zupco operated as a viable entity and that political parties like Zanu PF desisted from abusing it.

"Is there anything that you are going to do to enable Zupco to run as a viable entity where people pay for services? We want it to be a bus service that is not abused by political parties. At the moment we see Zupco buses bearing pictures of certain individuals," Madzimure said.

Matiza said there was nothing wrong with it as Zupco buses could be hired by anyone, even individuals.

Currently, most Zupco buses have stickers on them supporting the candidature of First Lady Grace Mugabe as Zanu PF Women's League secretary for women affairs.

He also said there was going to be monitoring of fare charges by commuter omnibuses through consultative meetings with operator associations in an endeavour to put to end overcharging by unscrupulous operators.

Source - newsday