BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA THE Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has expressed concern over the continued use of unregistered and uninsured buses on the country’s roads that are endangering passengers.
PAZ national coordinator Tafadzwa Goliati told NewsDay yesterday that there has been growing concern over the increase in passengers who fail to get compensation after being injured in accidents involving uninsured buses.
He said passenger transport operating under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) franchise must also be insured.
“We are not happy with the uninsured buses and other omnibuses that are used to carry passengers in the country.
“Most of these buses and omnibuses do not have passenger liability cover which is legally designed to compensate passengers in the event of an accident,” Goliati said. “We have noticed that in the event of an accident, most passengers do not get compensation. This has led to many passengers not being compensated because these omnibuses would not have been insured.
Some of the buses do not have number plates, which makes it difficult to trace them in the event that they have been involved in accidents.”
Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors president Fradreck Maguramhinga said: “We are calling for compliance. Vehicles without number plates are a headache.
“Drivers are identified by their licences, and as such vehicles are identified by number plates. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to ensure that vehicles on the road are registered and the Zupco buses are no exception.”
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He said while government has always declared national disasters after accidents, there was need to come up with policies that ensure that the victims are compensated and laws requiring passenger transporters to have accident cover must be enforced.
Zupco chief executive officer Everisto Mudangwa said: “All our buses have passenger liability cover. We use the chassis number to pay for the liability cover.”
The country’s Road Traffic Act stipulates that operators of passenger public service vehicles must compensate dependents of people who die or the permanently injured in road accidents.
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