The government says it is concerned about the continued illegal operation of public kombis as they are not adhering to the Covid -19 precautions saying they should join ZUPCO.
In a statement, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works announced that public transportation is limited only to ZUPCO buses and ZUPCO commuter omnibuses.
“The Government strongly advises the private operators and the public, that urban transport services for the carriage of passengers, is restricted to those provided by the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) as provided for in section 2(a) of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment.) (National Lockdown) 2020.” The statement read in part.
The Ministry of Local Government said the move is not to punish those in the transport business but to contain the spread of corona virus.
“The country is not yet out of the woods since we still have cases of Covid -19. The regulations were put in place to Prevent, Contain and Treat Covid-19, are not meant to disadvantage those who invested in the Transport or any other sector, but to ensure that the objectives of the regulations are met. We note with great concern, that the operators who resist working with ZUPCO are usually those that are not registered, and do not meet the requirements.” Read the statement.
The Ministry said law enforcement agents will arrest the kombi operators and seize their vehicles if they are found on the wrong side of the law.
“Government is committed to have sanity in the urban (Intra – city) transport services, and law enforcement agents have the authority to penalise those who contravene the law. As for pirate vehicles (Mushika shika), are illegal,
“Pirate vehicles (Mushikashika), all vehicles using undesignated pickup points, risk being penalised and having their vehicles seized as provided for in the obtaining legislation.” The statement further read.
Kombi operators have been at loggerheads with the police since the Covid 19 induced lockdown which started in March, playing cops and robbers resulting to many kombi glasses being replaced with card board boxes to avoid being at loss when police breaks the windows during the chase.