Company-owned buses and school-owned buses, including mini-buses, with documentation including proof of ownership, will be allowed passage at roadblocks and check points and are not affected by the ban on vehicles plying for hire outside Zupco control.
The police clarification follows some people misunderstanding what ZRP Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Abednico Ncube meant when he advised all schools and companies hiring buses to hire through Zupco as non-Zupco kombis carrying paying passengers would be stopped at police check points.
In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi made it clear that buses and mini-buses owned by companies and schools were not affected by the operation against pirate kombis and rogue operators.
"In enforcing the Government's Covid-19 regulations on transporters, the Zimbabwe Republic Police will ensure that company and school owned buses which have the requisite documents, proof of ownership and all relevant registration processes are allowed passage at road blocks and check points.
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to set the record straight on the use of company and school owned buses to carry staff and pupils throughout the country. This clarity will also assist to correct the statement being attributed to ZRP Bulawayo provincial spokesperson which recently went viral on social media.
"The police will only impound public service vehicles such as kombis or buses which are carrying passengers whilst they are not registered under the Zupco franchise. Police officers are fully aware of this position." Asst Comm Nyathi did note that private taxis and mushikashika (illegal privately owned shuttle vehicles) will be impounded by police and there was "no going back on this stance for public safety".
Companies and schools intending to hire kombis or buses that are not under the Zupco franchise to transport workers or children, should first seek clearance from the relevant ministry and Zupco, said police. Asst Comm Nyathi said the move will assist law enforcement officers in the maintenance of law and order on the roads.
Police report that so far this year, 167 062 people have been arrested for not wearing face masks.
Asst Comm Nyathi advised citizens to promote health safety and compliance with Government's Covid-19 regulations.