The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has threatened to seize privately owned commuter omnibuses and taxis known as Mshikashika which operate illegally.
The government in a statement that only buses and commuter omnibuses contracted under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company were allowed to carry members of the public. Reads the statement:
The Government of Zimbabwe is concerned with the Illegal Operation of private kombis which ply urban routes in Harare and other urban centers. 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) Order 2020.
Government is committed to have sanity in the urban (Intra-city) transport services, and Law enforcement agents have the authority to penalize those who contravene the Law. As for Pirate vehicles (Mshikashika), they are illegal.
Any kombi or bus operator trying to ply intra-city routes in Harare or any City/ Town in Zimbabwe without a ZUPCO sticker, Pirate vehicles (Mshikashika), all vehicles using undesignated pick up points, risk being penalized and having their vehicles seized as provided for in the obtaining legislation.
Private commuter omnibuses and taxis were banned from the road in March when the government initially imposed the lockdown to curb the transmission and spread of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, some analysts have argued for a well-coordinated return of kombis saying ZUPCO is overwhelmed by demand.
Commuters are spending hours in elongated queues waiting for their turn to board the buses.
More: The Sunday News