Chombo shirks ZUPCO collapse

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo has refused to shoulder any responsibility for the collapse of the Zupco urban transport service.

ZUPCO has collapsed, with private companies picking up the pieces
ZUPCO has collapsed, with private companies picking up the pieces

The parastatal, which is under his ministry, has collapsed, with urban transport service snapped up by reckless private operators. Chombo now claims Zupco collapsed because of competition, and said that it was not a viable business plan.

"On the Zupco services, I don’t know how old you are, but there used to be also Ruredzo Bus Services, Matambanadzo Bus Services, Mverechena Bus Services. It no longer works," Chombo told a press briefing in Harare on Friday. "They were there when there was no other form of transport and the city of Harare had about two 000 cars. Now it has about a million and there are so many kombis. They never used to exist then. So as a business, it no longer exists."

Zupco used to operate a reliable 30-minute business service, with the subsidised State buses bringing order to the city. Chombo says the State-fixed fares drove Zupco out of business.

"Zupco is ours as government, 100 percent. We control what they charge. The kombis are not ours, we don't control what they charge and we don't control what they do. So there is basically no business that is as viable," Chombo said.

Chombo praised the parastatal for surviving for the past two years with government financial support. Critics say the collapse of Zupco is a perfect projection of Zanu PF's dysfunctional rule over the past 31 years.

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