School buses to make the journey from China

The government is to help local schools buy cheap Chinese buses, a senior official has said.

Speaking at a child protection workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Schools Development Association in Bulawayo last week, Dan Moyo, the Bulawayo provincial education director, said government had realised most schools couldn’t afford brand new, locally built buses.

“Government has come up with a facility whereby schools will buy school buses from China at very affordable rates. Most schools cannot afford the prices charged by local dealers. We hope this facility will help to alleviate transport shortages in schools,” said Moyo. Moyo said schools would get full details of the scheme very soon.

Since the government started its Look East policy following a fall-out with western countries over successive disputed elections, the government-controlled Zimbabwe United Passenger Company has been importing buses from China. Most of the coaches are now off the road due to shortages of spare parts.

Transport experts have also condemned the Chinese buses as unfit and unsuitable for Africa’s rough terrain. The cash-strapped ZUPCO last year disposed of obsolete Chinese buses at a cost ranging between $1,000 and $2,000.

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