A lot of commuters woke up on Monday to be greeted by shocking kombi fares. Those coming from Chitungwiza into Harare CBD had to pay a shocking price of $10 bond for the journey. Touts and kombi owners said this was in response to the latest fuel price increase.

A snap survey has however revealed that even at that price kombis are still struggling as they are having a hard time finding customers who now prefer to patiently wait for their turn to board ZUPCO buses which cost between $1-$2 for urban journeys.

While most people don’t have a choice when it comes to going to work in during the morning peak hour. Things are different during the off-peak period and in the evening one kombi driver, we spoke to said. He blamed this on the low wages being paid by a lot of employers including the government itself.

Sure enough, as we went about our business we noticed that the kombi we were in never got full. Chatting with passengers at several bus stops during the off-peak period revealed that most were willing to wait for the average hour or so before one of the overworked ZUPCO buses could pick them up.

In response, Kombis now resort to negotiating with each customer during the off-peak period in a bid to entice them onboard. Mufakose, Glen Norah, Southlands and Machipisa kombis which normally demand $5 per trip were willing to accept half of that with some even taking $2 for the same trip. And still, they struggled to get full.

Ndenge ndakutongoita yese yese kuti mari yemurungu ikwane. Otherwise hapana hapana. Kusevenzera mahara uku nefuel yacho zvayavakuita. Zvemaparts hatichatauri.

(I am just trying to meet my daily cash in target. Otherwise I am just toiling for nothing given the current fuel prices. I won’t even mention spare parts.

One driver on the issue.