In the pursuit of controlling traffic and bring sanity to the urban transport sector, the Government has said that it will make the ban of commuter omnibuses (kombis) permanent even after the current Covid-19 lockdown, a move that will likely plunge travelers into a crisis and leave operators counting serious losses.
“What we are doing is we want to bring sanity into the transporting sector like what we have done with the haphazard vending that was in the Central Business Districts. The President told us that this is the time for us to bring sanity to some sectors during this lockdown. What the kombi owners can do is register their vehicles with Zupco together with their drivers and they will be good. Actually Zupco is paying them more than what they are making right now,” Moyo told the state media.
He said to monitor all buses and kombis under Zupco, the Government has ‘partnered with a young gentleman from the Harare Institute of Technology’ who has reportedly devised an application to control them.
“The application monitors fuel efficiency and when a bus goes off route, it can automatically cut the engine off. This is honestly the direction we want to take as a Government, which is what used to occur back then, we are simply reviving an old system.”
The latest development will likely leave commuter omnibus operators in a quandary and create more transport woes for urbanites. Since the beginning of the lockdown on March 30, kombis were interdicted from operating, with only ZUPCO buses and kombis allowed to operate.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews