Opposition MPs demand answers on Belarus bus deal


OPPOSITION legislators have demanded that Local Government minister July Moyo should appear in Parliament to explain the whereabouts of Zimbabwe Passenger Company (Zupco) buses purchased by government from Belarus.

MPs said the buses — if they were really in the country — should help alleviate the public transport crisis mostly in urban areas.

Kambuzuma legislator Willias Madzimure (Citizens Coalition for Change) raised the issue in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“We have quite a lot of buses that we received from Belarus such that when one is travelling from Harare to Bulawayo, you are supposed to meet over 20 buses on the highway, but currently there are no Zupco buses on our roads,” Madzimure said.

“Zupco is not in operation and I urge the minister to come and explain to this House the measures that he has taken to ensure we have transport.  In Harare, Zupco franchise buses pack people like sardines.

 “We bought a lot of buses. The Local Government minister must come and explain to this august House what is happening with the buses from Belarus, and how many buses were imported and how many are in use.”

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda ordered Madzimure to put his question in writing so that Moyo can give a detailed response.

In 2019, Belarus offered Zimbabwe 500 buses to modernise its public transport system.

In 2020, Local Government secretary Zvinechimwe Churu said a programme to assemble 300 Zupco buses would take off by mid-year.

By September 2021, over 400 buses were reported to have been imported from China.

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