HomeNewsTaxi drivers reject rent-to-buy deal

Taxi drivers reject rent-to-buy deal


The 2010 World Cup tournament left many fans without the thrill they expected after “big”, popular teams — the most widely followed — booked early flights back home. But remembered to leave regional aftershocks as well.
Zimbabwean entrepreneurs who had purchased taxi cabs anticipating big business are now holding dying babies and many of the non-traditional operators have decided to pass them on to drivers under an exit arrangement widely seen as a win-lose deal.
“We didn’t benefit from the 2010 World Cup at all; we are now selling the taxis,” Christopher Kadzitye, Metro Cab manager, said. “We are talking to our drivers offering to sell the taxis to them. We are targeting those who have been working for us for at least six months.”
“In the terms of this deal, drivers will not have a salary. They will also be required to meet the day-to-day running costs on their own. This applies to fuel costs and payments for car damages and maintenance, during the months covered by the deal until it expires. For cash payments we are disposing the cars at $8 000.”
Under the proposed rent-to-buy deal, drivers are required to cash $50 daily for 20 days in a month, for a period of six months, which puts the value of the deal at $6 000.
“Those who commit to the deal but later fail to meet the targets will be given a 14-day notice to pay whatever is outstanding.
For those who fail to meet the deadline, the deal will be considered terminated.
But they will be entitled to 10% of the money they cashed in,” said Kadzitye.
Taxi drivers who spoke to this paper said the rent-to-buy deal is a good idea, which has been packaged in a parasitic manner.
“Hazvishande because business rakadhakwa and hapana kana hope . Vanofunga kuti tiri mabharanzi? (The deal doesn’t work because business is down and there is no hope. But they think we are not smart enough?),” one of the Metro Cab drivers said yesterday.
The driver said the daily revenue target was way beyond reach and the conditions of the deal, was too one-sided to induce interest.
He added that the average turnover per vehicle was $15 because of a market glut that emerged in the run up to the 2010 World Cup when non-traditional traders entered the “gold rush”.
“Most of the times we cash $10-$20, mostly during weekends. Sometimes we get nothing.”
Other drivers observed that the daily target would only be met by increasing the number of trips, which accelerates the depreciation of the vehicles, virtually defeating the essence of the whole deal.
They also argued that the rent-put-buy value was also way above the replacement value of the cars.
The landed cost of a Toyota Spacio, the most common cab, is currently estimated at $3,000.

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