Chaos hits transport sector( 01-03-07)

HARARE - Chaos reigns in the transport sector in the wake of massive fuel price hikes.
Faced with a 50% increase in fares, many commuters have resorted to walking. Buses plying between Mbare and City centre charge Z$1,500 while those servicing the Glenview route are now charging on average

Hard-pressed commuters and bus crews have had bitter exchanges, because the new rates have not been officially announced.
“If you don’t have $1,500 you better disembark from the bus to avoid a possible conflict along the way,” a bus conductor in a Sunningdale kombi said.
An incident involving an Mbare-bound bus forced it to a stop midway and all passengers who had objected to the new rates disembarked.
At Charge Office bus terminal, which is normally congested with commuters, only a few people could be seen as most of them had elected to walk to nearby suburbs such as Sunningdale and Hatfield.
“Since yesterday I have been walking on my way to work and only board a bus during
the return trip,” Rangarirai Moyo said.
Many school pupils and students have resorted to riding bicycles or walking as they cannot afford the present fares.
Transport and Communications minister Chris Mushowe said the hikes were illegal and anyone found overcharging would be jailed. He said government was serious about enforcing the social contract, which comes into force tomorrow. – Gift Phiri

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