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Overloaded ZUPCO Buses To Continue Operating Despite Government Ban On Gatherings

PUBLIC transporter, Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO)’s buses will continue operating despite a government ban on any gatherings of more than 100 people.

President Mnangagwa introduced the measure in attempts to reduce the likely outbreak and spread of the coronavirus in a country.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, ZUPCO chief executive officer Everisto Madangwa said the government-owned transport provider will not suspend operations but will take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We will continue with our services of bringing transport to the people because people really need transport,” he said.

“However, we will take some measures and work hand in hand with the government in tackling the spread of Coronavirus.

“We will be educating our passengers on the dos and don’ts in order to prevent ourselves from being affected by the virus.”

Madangwa, however, could not confirm if ZUPCO will perform any sanitization measures on passengers.

ZUPCO buses and commuter omnibuses were introduced early last year in order to ease transport problems faced by poor locals.

The shortage of fuel and rising prices of the precious liquid have led to continued increases in fares by private transporters.

In Bulawayo, a single trip into the city center from the residential areas on a commuter omnibus costs ZWL$20 while ZUPCO charges just ZWL$2 for the same services.

This has seen a majority flock to buses which are often packed with over 100 passengers.

In the wake of the coronavirus scare, Madangwa said the public transporter will now be stricter in ensuring Zupco buses carried the recommended numbers of passengers.

“We will also limit the number of people on a bus; 75 people will be allowed to sit, and a bus will now only be allowed to carry not more than 21 passengers standing.

“This is also another way of preventing the spread of Coronavirus,” Madangwa added.

Runyararo Makunde

Media and Society Studies Student Journalist for zimtrending Blogger Copywriter

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