Starting today those boarding ZUPCO buses, the only buses allowed on the road during the lockdown, will be expected to pay double what they were paying on Friday. According to the government this hike was made necessary due to changes in things like fuel prices. Last week ZERA, announced some fuel price hikes even though the price of fuel has fallen on the global market due to low demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new fares review, according to a letter from the Ministry of Finance (and Economic Development), were necessitated by the reduced carrying capacity due to Covid-19 and the resulting constraint on revenue, which negatively impacts on operations.

ZUPCO Marketing and Public Relations Officer Sikhanyisiwe Ncube

This is the latest service that is run by the government to see an increase after electricity and the above mentioned fuel hikes. This will probably mean an increase in prices as well. Passengers are not happy with the latest fare hike considering the fact that there was no corresponding salary hike from the government. It essentially means those who are commuting are now poorer than there were a week ago. It also means ZUPCO commutters are being made to cover the cost of those who are no longer going to work.

How can they hike fuel prices and fares while we are in the COVID-19 lockdown period? The majority of our people are suffering and yet they continue to pressure workers by placing more problems for them.

The unabated price rises will affect the poor majority in the country who have been depending on the Zupco transport monopoly to travel. Additionally, the rise in fuel prices will place inflationary pressure on the prices of all goods and services.

Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) president Tafadzwa Goliati

Goliati warned that if workers’ earnings kept getting eroded there might be another round of strikes. During the last year and the year before that the government was at various points embroiled in salary disputes with workers from various departments including teachers and nurses. These workers often cited incapacitation as the reason why there were downing tools. They claimed that inflation had eroded their incomes to the extent where they could not afford to report for duty. If the government keeps up with these hikes that is where we are headed.