Dear EDITOR — Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa unveiled Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses with State media going into a frenzy eulogising the head of State for a timely intervention.
We all are in agreement that this was something bound to bring smiles on faces of Zimbabwean commuters who have been subjected to exorbitant kombi fares all these years.
However, no sooner than people had finished celebrating the arrival of the buses that the coaches disappeared from the public glare.
No one has seen them on the roads ever since with only those introduced through a partnership with private operators.
We want to see those buses on the roads and hope that the president was not on another PR stunt, promising people things that he knows may never come anytime soon. The mass public system is in dire need of an overhaul and lately the City of Harare announced intentions to bring in electric buses in partnership with a Chinese firm.
Council is local government and we are now wondering whether we are heading north or south, with two sets of arrangements within a month. Government must be clear with citizens and tell them how exactly it intends to solve the crisis in the mass transport system for the benefit of ordinary citizens who — for some time now — have been left at the mercy of kombi operators, who charge exorbitant fares.
Besides, the current arrangement with private operators that came into existence following the January protests dose not seem to provide buses beyond 8pm, leaving commuters with no option other than kombis. The question we must ask ourselves is: Where are the buses that were unveiled by Mnangagwa and where is the remainder from the number we were told was coming from Belarus?
There is obviously something fishy here.
Power lies with the people and they must not be taken for granted all the time. They also think and can make sane judgments on the authenticity of some deals or the lack of it. The mass public transport system needs revamping as a matter of urgency and those buses must be on the road, including the remainder that we were promised.
Local Government minister July Moyo has some work cut out for him so that the current problems bedevilling the urban transport system can be solved once and for all.