Govt drafting regulations for kombis

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Commuters board an open truck due to lack of transport in Harare,Zimbabwe,01 July 2021. The government banned private commuter buses and it's own buses are failing to meet the demand .Commuters now have to leave the city early in order to beat the 6 :30 pm start of the curfew.

BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
GOVERNMENT has said it is in the process of drafting regulations for private transport sector players as it moves to resolve the country’s transport crisis.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa banned private public transporters early 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was meant to help control the spread of the pandemic by mandating the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company with the sole role of transporting commuters.

The ban was reversed last week after government yielded to public pressure to remove the ban on private  commuter omnibuses.

The ban had created a public transport crisis countrywide.

During a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo, on the Urban Areas Public Transport System, following His Excellency the President’s statement on the opening up of the public transportation sector to private players.

“Government is in the process of coming up with relevant regulations to enable liberalisation of the public transport sector. These will include the licensing of operators on any given route.

“Government takes this opportunity to assure citizens that it has the travelling public’s interests at heart, and will expend all efforts to ensure that the situation is expeditiously ameliorated. The nation will be kept abreast of developments on this matter,” she said.

Greater Harare Association of  said self-regulation was better than government regulation.

“We are happy that more employment has been created or restored for those who were parked and many livelihoods have been saved. Our wish is that for order to return, authorities need to give responsibility to associations to manage their affairs through their franchises which they self-regulate, monitor and discipline errant operators and their crews, with the aid of the recommended regulatory body. Individualism must never be allowed as it gives way to criminal elements and corruption in the sector,” Katsvairo said.

Tshova Mubaiwa Transport Co-operative spokesperson Atlas Moyo implored government to speedily come up with the new terms and conditions.

“We are happy that kombis are back on the road, but the government is not being clear on the terms and conditions. Government said that kombis are now allowed to operate, but they continue to arrest the operators. We are now scared. We are paying huge amounts of money to get our cars released. We feel cheated,” Moyo said.

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