Transport woes continue to mount for Harare residents as they are failing to access the legalised Zupco buses and Kombis as they are not enough to accommodate the growing number of commuters who travel to and from town everyday.
The government announced that all public transportation should be registered under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) as they are the only public transportation allowed in the CBD in terms of Covid-19 prevention regulations since the beginning of the national lockdown in March last year.
With a few number of Zupco on the road, the situation has worsened following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions by the President Mnangagwa that saw businesses opening.
Many people have gone back to work and schools have been opened, raising a high demand of transport.
Commuters are therefore saying it is better for the government to at least allow the kombis to return so as to curb the transport situation which has become unbearable for them.
”The situation has become unbearable, its very hard kupinda muzupco its really a struggle, you will be expected to be at work by 8 in the morning and zupcos in my place starts operating at the time one is supposed to be at work, sometimes Zupcos shows up at 9AM.” Said Mrs Zhakata.
”It is such a huge inconvenience. Let them just bring back kombis” said another commuter.
The frustrated commuter said the situation has worsened since schools opened and now more people have to wait for the bus.
”Its better to have kombis back they must be allowed to operate and help each other with zupcos, commuter omnibus that are not from Zupco can as well operate following the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines,
”The government should consider bringing back maKombi ari kumba that will help.” Said Mr Fish.
A resident in Kambuzuma Section 3 said they have very few buses in the area.
”We have very few buses operating in Kambuzuma Section 3, its hard for us to get to town and carry out our daily activities. Especially now that schools have opened.” Tawananyasha said.
She said commuters in her area sometimes seek the services of pirating commuter omnibuses which are also unreliable.
Tawananyasha said Government should consider bringing back commuter omnibuses that are not registered under Zupco so as to solve the transport problems across the city.
She added that, government must make provisions for private operators so they can be allowed back on the roads.
Another commuter from Mufakose said due to transport shortages, bus operators are sometimes forced to carry more passengers than they should so as to accommodate many people in one trip.
This raises alarm as failure to adhere to Covid-19 health regulations such as maintaining social distance may result in a third wave of the pandemic that was said to be more dangerous.
” We will be left with no option, we can not observe social distance muline mask chaiyo inotodambuka munhu achida kuenda kumba, mabus 5o takangonzwa asi kuarea kwedu hakuna kana bus nyowani ende chero akauya, mashoma” Said a man who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Commuters are pleading with the government to provide more buses in the city to ease the transport challenges with some buses specifically allocated to leaners while the rest would be used by everyone.
They implored the government to allow private transport operators back on the road in order to ease the current transport challenges they are facing.