Mutare — Barely a few days after launching its Tap and Go card here in Mutare, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has ground to a halt leaving commuters with no choice but to rely on lorries and open trucks for transport.
Mutare residents, hard pressed by the biting economic have been left in quandary as they are now forced to board lorries and open trucks risking lives, to commute from high density suburbs of Dangamvura, Hobhouse and Chikanga to their different places of work.
A resident from Dangamvura, Taurai Makanidzani told 263Chat that the challenges faced by ZUPCO were now forcing people to use unsafe means of transports.
He said school children have not been spared either as they now also have to jostle with ordinary commuters who will be going to work.
"ZUPCO is shortchanging us because we just bought their tap card yet there are no buses, this is not fair to all those that have invested their money in those cards.
"Now people are being forced to board lorries and open trucks, this is not safe because even school children, pregnant women and the elderly are all jostling for space in these open trucks and lorries.
"We are not happy at all over what is happening at ZUPCO, they should at least consider their clients," said Makanidzani.
Local ZUPCO depot manager, Godfrey Changadza revealed that the public transporter has been facing fuel challenges, leading to the disruption of its normal services.
He however, allayed fears of commuters that the operator was facing viability challenges and would not be able to continue offering the services.
"We have had fuel challenges, in particular diesel over the past few days that's why there has been a disruption in the provision of the service. However, we have just received our allocation, so the provision of transport service will resume in no time today and buses will be plying their normal routes.
"The Tap and Go card has been going on very well we have not had many challenges, we are hoping that as we roll it out further it will provide more convenience for the commuting public," said Changadza.