The recent initiative by government of allowing kombis to operate during the Covid-19 under ZUPCO franchise has raised a lot of mixed feeling as some commuters have welcomed the new development with others discrediting it as unsustainable.
The on-going national lockdown put in place by government as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus has affected a number of industries in the county including the transport sector as kombis were forced to stop operations with the government allowing only ZUPCO buses to operate.
The government’s new development to allow kombis to operate during the national lockdown under ZUPCO as a way of assisting commuters has raised a lot of mixed reactions.
From the perspective of the general public, the idea of kombis only operating under ZUPCO during the national lockdown as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus is good looking at the transport costs as for ZUPCO there is no deliberate transport fares hikes without justifications to Commuters which private kombis do, meaning that commuters can budget for their transport cost. With ZUPCO there is no abuse by touts, which is something that was a cause for concern especially for women who fell victim most of the times.
Some commuters argue that the government’s plan to franchise kombis under ZUPCO is not practical looking at the number of buses that are actually on the ground which are not enough to cover all the routes that the private played were covering, this has been witnessed during this lockdown as Commuters spent hours stranded without any bus insight at the bus terminal meaning that poor management of the is new development can cause chaos.
For commuters private players in the transport sector had created a lot of job opportunities for Zimbabwean Youths especially for Mahwindi who didn’t need a certificate to be qualified for the job which the ZUPCO franchising development won’t be able to accommodate as conductors are expected to have passed at least 5 ‘O’ levels.