As pointed out in our previous article, ZUPCO’s monopoly has been an absolute failure as it was predictably going to be given the history of the parastatal. Now stranded commuters are now forking out as much as US$4 to get into town instead of the usual US$0.50 before ZUPCO was granted a monopoly over public transport. The situation in urban areas has become so dire that Local government minister was dragged before parly recently to answer some questions over the ZUPCO issue.
MPs were scathing in their criticism of ZUPCO with one saying the government-owned company had demonstrated incapacity to be able o carry every passenger. He is right, from the very outset it was clear that ZUPCO did not have the capacity to cater to all urban commuters. The government hoped to rectify this by coercing private players into a partnership with ZUPCO but few were willing to join forces with the government given the fact that the few who were already in partnership with ZUPCO were struggling to get their dues on time.
As it is, due to a lack of reliable public transport, people are getting home at around 11PM. People are delaying to come to work up to around 9AM or 10AM. It is causing loss of production time and loss of quality time within people’s homes.
[Private players should be allowed back in as long as they satisfy three conditions] availability of transport, affordability and safe travel.MP Chikwinya speaking on the issue in parliament
Sticking heads into the sand and bypassing parliament
ZUPCO should never have been given the public transport monopoly. In fact, they almost certainly would never have been given these powers if the issue had gone before parliament for debate. The government probably knew that which is why they chose to do what they have been doing for the past couple of years, bypass parliament and pass a dubious statutory instrument.
It doesn’t seem like the posh driving gang that’s in charge of the government is aware of the public woes or the pain of the average person either. The president himself seems determined to continue with the ZUPCO monopoly farce:
My government is determined to retain the purchasing power of workers, through a viable public transport system. The government will not stand by and watch while the hard-earned incomes of our workers are stolen by ‘mushika-shikas’ and ‘makoronyera’. No!President Mnangagwa on his worker’s day speech
This would be noble were it not for the fact that thanks to government meddling the opposite has been achieved. Our entire savings are being wiped out by private players who are now demanding a premium as they have to pay steep bribes to be allowed to pass through checkpoints. The president’s call to bring order has been interpreted as him calling for a crackdown on private players. The government seems content with ruining an entire industry during these hard times.
Again as pointed out in the earlier article. The ZUPCO monopoly will crumble mostly because the government has taken up so many sectors which they are propping up like this.