Kombi operators under the Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators (GHACO) are pleading with the government to allow them to operate as they are suffering financial strain because of the 7-week long lockdown.
GHACO secretary-general Ngoni Katsvairo said that kombi operators were ready to follow the precedent set by their South African counterparts where the carrying capacity of omnibuses has been reduced. Katsvairo said:
In South Africa, taxis (kombis) are carrying ten people and we are willing to do the same.
Our members are struggling from this inactivity — from operators to employees, as their source of income was cut.
We are amenable to interventions by Government to see our members become part of the public transport system during this lockdown.
Our members are registered, so they are under an obligation to follow the law.
Under the lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, kombis are banned from operating.
Meanwhile, the Namibian government has permitted kombi operators to effect a 15 per cent fare hike to cater for reduced income caused by limited carrying capacity.