The Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC) has pleaded with the Government to end the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) monopoly.
ZUDAC president Frederick Maguramhinga called for dialogue between transport operators and the Government over the ZUPCO monopoly which he claimed has caused the shortage of transport in the country, especially in urban areas. Said Maguramhinga:
The crisis in the transport sector has taken another level. There is a stalemate between the government and operators. There is no platform to discuss this because the door is closed.
The SI 83 of 2020 states that no one shall run public transport outside the Zupco franchise. The birth of this arrangement wasn’t inclusive.
It was imposed on operators. We were not given a chance to speak for our members. This system is surviving by force.
The Government enforced ZUPCO’s transport monopoly in 2020 through 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.