The Zimbabwe government has adamant that everyone should use the official rate. Currently the official rate is the willing buyer willing seller rate which stands at around $635 ZWL per 1 USD. A lot of eyebrows were raised when ZUPCO raised their fares up to $800 ZWL for urban commuters. When pressed about this latest increase ZUPCO had an even more strange defence. $800 ZWL is according to ZUPCO a mere $1. Now the truth is that ZUPCO is right. For the majority of Zimbabweans $800 ZWL is equal to 1 USD. The thing is, ZUPCO is owned by the government who have been very insistent on us using the official rate.

Several organisations have criticised the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) for doing this. Obert Matsika, head of the Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trusts (ZNOART) in Chitungwiza, made a pithy quip when asked to comment on the matter:

How can they charge USD at the black-market rate? It must charge fares using the bank rate.

Many other commentators and relevant stakeholders had no kind words for the development. They said that it showed that the government was economically dishonest when it insists on everyone else using the official rate. They also said that the development was even more proof that the ZUPCO monopoly was not working. Most operators who joined did so because that was the only way they could operate. Most just simply get the free fuel and fail to service their routes.

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