HomeNewsZupco in trouble over $71 000 debt

Zupco in trouble over $71 000 debt

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Ailing Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) has been given an ultimatum to clear a $71 000 debt it owes the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) while Harare City Council is concerned about the company’s sorry state of affairs at their depots in the city.
Harare has written to Zupco asking it to spruce up its deteriorating depots while BCC is demanding payment in full within the next three to six months.
Last week, BCC passed a resolution to repossess some of the depots where Zupco has been operating from because the bus company had failed to meet its financial obligations. Bulawayo council has already taken over the Kelvin North bus depot and the offices located at the Lobengula Street terminal in the city.
NewsDay has it on good authority that the passenger company’s board would within the next few days present the state of affairs at the company to the new Minister of State Enterprises, Gorden Moyo.
Minister Moyo said he would only comment after getting a briefing from the board.
“I am yet to get a briefing on what has been happening from the board soon,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Zupco were fruitless yesterday.
BCC mayor Thaba Moyo said Zupco operations had become virtually extinct and council found no need for the bus company to keep holding on to the premises they could not afford to pay for.
“We cannot see them. So we believe as council that the premises that Zupco have been using could be used to generate more income for the city,” he said.
He said the passenger company could do with a smaller working space given that their operations have been drastically reduced.
BCC accuses Zupco of sub-letting their properties behind its back to try and raise funds to clear their debt.
HCC public relations manager, Leslie Gwindi said they were still awaiting a response from the passenger company.
“We have written to Zupco asking them to do something about the state of the depots as they were not in the best of shape,” he said.
Asked if Zupco owed HCC any money, Gwindi said he would have to cross check. In 2004 government assumed sole ownership of Zupco. Up until the early 90s commuter transport in all major urban centres operated on franchise agreements between the local authorities and the service providers before the sector was de-regularised to allow private players.
The de-regulation of the commuter transport sector in 1993 ushered in new challenges for Zupco which was gradually pushed out of business in most urban areas.

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