Zimbabwe: Govt Hints At Kombis Return

(File photo).
23 September 2020

The government says it is considering bringing back commuter omnibuses owing to the return to normalcy of services and the increasing demand for public transport.

In March, President Emmerson Mnangagwa banned the operationalization of the kombis as COVID-19 cases surged and the government subsequently shut down the country.

Upon review of lockdown measure, however, kombis remain banned despite a surge in the demand for transport as more people have been slowly going back to work.

Defence and War Veteran Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who also chairs the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Covid-19 told journalists yesterday during the -cabinet briefing that owing to the decline in COVID-19 cases, there is a need to bring in more transport operators to cater for the demand.

"As we have been observing the number of infections coming under control and also the opening of quite a number of sectors, now we see a need to bring in other players. Originally, every private operator who wanted to operate had to register with Zupco but we realise that Zupco also has some challenges.

"There are now new players in the economy and therefore the need that we open up especially inter-city transport," she noted.

Muchinguri-Kshiri further urged those operators who wish to be back on the road to follow "proper channels" while shutting the door on pirate taxis known as mushikashika.

"Those that are legal whether Kombis, will be required to register with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development and we do hope that with that window those kombis will have to approach the relevant ministry and comply with the rules and regulations.

"They're not being barred but only if they're illegal because we see a lot of them that are not roadworthy. Some are not registered and always avoid to go through the official points. So we are ready to engage but not mushikashika, that one is a no, it's still a nuisance. But for the kombis there's an opportunity where they can approach the relevant authorities," she said.

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