In a bizarre ruling that’s likely to frustrate a lot of people, the High Court has ruled that it cannot set aside measures put forth by the Zimbabweancabinet in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. One such measure has been the ZUPCO monopoly. Last year the government banned kombis as part of its measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. It instead handed the transport monopoly to ZUPCO which has failed miserably when it comes to catering to the needs of commuters as it doesn’t have enough buses.

In my view, the restriction imposed on the applicants serves a legitimate purpose and the 1st respondent is empowered in terms of s68 of the Act to make these restrictions, and accordingly the 1st respondent should be afforded the space to put in place measures necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe.

There is, therefore, no justification at this stage for this court to order the suspension of the 1st respondent’s order made in SI 83 of 2020 as this would be tantamount to prescribing to the government how it should exercise its mandate in preventing and containing Covid-19. It is ordered that; the application is dismissed.

Justice Tagu in a ruling against a case brought against the ZUPCO monopoly

A lot of people have accused the government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to push laws that favour cartels within the government. One such measure often cited is the ZUPCO monopoly which many say doesn’t make sense. The overcrowded ZUPCO buses are more likely to increase the spread of COVID than to stop. There is also the fact that most commuters are forced to use mushikashika lifts which are often unsafe.

The suit is likely to be appealed at the highest court and even if it is later on successful it would be too late as untold damage has already been done to the transport industry with scores of people who worked in the industry struggling to make ends meet.

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