People waiting in a queue to board a Zupco bus

The government has allowed the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) and buses under its franchise to carry more passengers in order to ease transport challenges.

Truck drivers who have been transporting people between cities and across national borders, as well as pirate taxis (Mushikashika), will be severely penalized, a Cabinet Minister has said.

The announcement was made by the Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at a post-Cabinet press briefing on Tuesday evening as she said that the increase in ZUPCO buses’ carrying capacity was subject to adherence to approved health guidelines.

The guidelines include mandatory temperature testing, wearing of masks by passengers and the buses being disinfected and sanitized after every trip.

Independent kombis, which were the backbone of public transport, remain banned, and truck drivers who have transporting people between cities and across national borders, as well as pirate taxis (Mushikashika), will be severely penalized, a Cabinet Minister said.

Kombis and bus owners have been advised to apply to join the ZUPCO fleet under the already existing franchise arrangement.

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