“We are buying fuel on the parallel market because, as everyone knows, there is none at garages and we do not have access to subsidised fuel. Yet the government wants us to charge like buses, which get cheap fuel from NOCZIM. How then do they want us to remain afloat? Someone must be told to be realistic here,” said Strike Ndlovu, spokesman for the Bulawayo Urban Transporters Association.
“How can someone say they do not recognise the parallel market when they know that it is there and some of them are even involved in it. Police also accused us of fuelling the parallel market by buying from it, yet they gave us no other alternative, but empty promises that they will help us get subsidised fuel, which they have failed to fulfil. We have families to feed and to remain in business, we will continue to buy fuel from the parallel and charge viable fares until we begin to get subsidised fuel from NOCZIM,” he added.
Bus fares are likely to be hiked again within the next two weeks, as the cost of fuel and other inputs like vehicle spare parts continues to skyrocket.
“When we began to charge Z$200 000, fuel was going for $3 million for five litres gallon, now it is going for Z$5,5 million and we are forced to hike the fare again, whatever the police are going to say,” said Ndlovu.
However, police deputy national spokesman, Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, vowed that his officers would continue to arrest defiant commuter crews until they abide by the law.
ÂPost published in: Economy