Private players in the transport sector with conventional buses and commuter omnibuses operating under ZUPCO, have demanded that their hire fees should be increased as a result of the increasing operating costs.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary for Local Government and Public Works, Zvinechimwe Churu on Friday, the Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) requested an urgent meeting with Government to discuss the challenges they are facing.
Presently the transport operators are being paid ZWL$4 000 a day for big buses and ZWL$1 000 for kombis but they want the hire fees to increased to ZWL$4 700 for kombis. The letter by GHACO read in part:
Further to our letters of May 4 (and) June 16, 2020, requesting an urgent review of hire fees, we kindly request for an urgent meeting to highlight and discuss with you these issues including inadequate kombi hire fees of $1 000 against $4 700 total cost per kilometre.
GHACO secretary-general, Ngoni Katsvairo, said on Sunday said that they want the government to pay them about US$65 per day via Nostro accounts as spare parts.
Churu said there is a high possibility that the hiring fees for conventional buses and commuter omnibuses will be reviewed but emphasised that Government we also want to protect passengers as well from the high transport cost.
The ZUPCO arrangement has not helped anyone since the private transporters are moaning while members of the public spend hours on end waiting for the buses at various termini across the country, risking contracting coronavirus due to overcrowding, at the same time braving the cold weather in the morning and late evening.