By Ransom Mandhlazi
LOCAL Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said Government was not backing down on the acquisition of new buses as it moves to sanitise the public transport sector.
Minister Moyo said the proper management of the public transport system wand to the Revolutionary People’s Party winning manifesto which clearly depicts Zimbabwe under the Second Republic to become transport and logistic hub of Southern African region.
He added that Zupco was a Government parastatal’s, meant to serve all regardless of political disposition
He added that there are some elements who were opposed to the Zupco bus project and bent on spreading falsehoods but that won’t deter the Government as it is in line with the People's Manifesto of 2018 where the ruling Party promised to restore sanity in the public transport sector.
In an interview following the commission of Zupco buses by President E.D Mnangagwa in Chinhoyi recently, Minister Moyo confirmed that the facility will spread to all province.
"The facility will spread to all towns across the ten provinces, regardless of political disposition, Government will buy 500 additional buses over the next 12 months as it augments efforts to overhaul the public mass transport system,” said Minister Moyo.
“There are those who are opposed to Government programmes and they write incorrect information even on social media but we will continue to follow what the President (Mnangagwa) is doing to improve the transport system. He will launch more buses soon," he added.
Minister Moyo reiterated that the transport sector will be under one control, and Government is not going back of that pronouncement.
“Those willing to have their buses included can simply go and register under Zupco so that we have many owners but one system to control who does what. During the Covid-19 era, Zupco can be trusted in terms of sanitising the buses and checking passengers' face masks than leaving it to kombi operators,” he added.
Whilst addressing delegates at the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) today, during the commissioning of Zupco buses for national commuter service, President Mnangagwa said the parastatal’s buses serve every commuter, regardless of political disposition.
He added that the Government enforced social distance on buses to ensure continued adherence to COVID19 preventive measures, by limiting the number of passengers per load, disinfection of buses after each trip, wearing of masks and temperature screening, to ensure safe travel for commuters.
The commissioning of 40 new buses in Chinhoyi came as Government continues to boost the fleet of its national road carrier Zupco, in order to cope with the demand.
Since the inception of the Zupco system, the number of Zupco workers has increased from 372 to 4 500, while depots grew from seven in 2018 to the current 18, a move which is meant to increase employment as enshrined in the 2018 election manifesto.