The state-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) was granted a monopoly over public transport in 2020 following a Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
However, the company has failed to provide adequate transport forcing commuters to opt for expensive alternatives or to walk to and from work.
Police have continued to clamp down on pirating taxis that are taking advantage of the incapacity of ZUPCO to transport commuters.
Speaking in Parliament, Tuesday, Mbizo Member of Parliament, Settlement Chikwinya said the government should allow private players back on the road since Covid-19 restrictions have been eased.
“Now, the lockdown regulations have been eased and it is my plea that ZUPCO has demonstrated incapacity to be able to carry every passenger. Therefore, I move that the transporters who then operated outside ZUPCO because the ZUPCO model was no longer viable, what would happen is that ZUPCO would delay in payments and paying in RTGs form which was losing value by the day. Now that we have eased lockdown regulations, I move that perhaps the Minister of Local Government who is in charge of the ZUPCO transport system come to Parliament.
Chikwinya said the Minister of Local Government should bring a Ministerial Statement so that the Parliamentarians can debate on the matter.
He said the unavailability of transport is causing loss of production time and loss of quality time.
“People are delaying to go to their houses up to around 11 pm. People are delaying coming to work up to around 0900 to 1000 hours in the morning. Therefore, it is causing a loss of production time and loss of quality time within people’s homes. Therefore, I move that the Minister of Local Government comes to Parliament with a Ministerial Statement where Members of Parliament bring issues from their constituents as we interrogate on the viability of ZUPCO and see how best we can assist our transporting public,” said Chikwinya.
The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said Moyo would be asked to bring a statement to the National Assembly soon, to be followed by a debate.
In a series of tweets, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the Zupco monopoly had failed and the government should allow other players back on the road.
“When will the regime admit there’s a transport crisis? The #ZUPCO monopoly has failed. People get arrested for carpooling. There’s no rail transport to speak of. They’ve failed to run a reliable public transport system. The incompetence is shocking,” she wrote.