The Government says it would soon be opening up the public transport system to private players so that they complement services being provided by the State-run Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday, 7 May, said that the regulations to liberalise the transport sector will be announced soon. He said:
Government is proceeding to open up the public transport system for other players in order to complement the services being provided by ZUPCO, in line with the reduction in COVID-19 cases and the subsequent opening up of the economy.
To complement the above measures, Government will allow for the duty-free importation for a period of 12 months for vehicles which meet regulations to be issued.
The liberalisation of the public transport system shall be done under terms and conditions to be published by Government.
The police would need to ensure that law and order is adhered to as the behaviour on our roads needs to be seriously attended to.
Non-adherence to the rules and regulations to be gazetted would not be tolerated.
In 2020 the Government created a ZUPCO monopoly through the gazetting of Statutory Instrument (SI) 83 of 2020.
It said the move was aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus but critics argue that the ban on private buses and kombis was meant to manage the public transport sector following the January 2019 fuel riots.
In January 2019, transport operators pulled their vehicles off the roads in protest of a 150 per cent fuel price hike that was announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The ZUPCO monopoly has, however, brought immense suffering to commuters who have to spend several hours standing in the rain, heat or cold waiting for the woefully inadequate rickety ZUPCO buses.