Zimbabwe News

Private buses’ contracts with ZUPCO extended

The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company’s (ZUPCO) contracts with private bus owners, which were set to expire at the end of February 2024, have been extended for another month.

As reported by The Herald, a committee has since been set up through the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to either make changes to the contracts or terminate them.

Last month ZUPCO advised the owners of franchised buses that it did not intend to renew the contracts which were due to expire on 28 February.

However, there are concerns that terminating the contracts could disadvantage passengers through fare hikes on some routes.

Prominent bus operator Esau Mupfumi said negotiations between ZUPCO and bus operators to renew the contracts were ongoing. He said:

We were given a month to continue with our operations while negotiations are underway. This is quite pleasing as negotiations are looking at people’s welfare first.

We do not want them to feel the pinch of mushikashika. The issue should not look at profits only, but consider the welfare of people. Government is there for the people and should cater for their needs.

Mupfumi also said a new committee had been set up to deal with the matter. He said:

The committee has four bus operators, Zupco officials, and officials from the Ministries of Local Government and Public Works and of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion.

It will be chaired by an official from the Local Government Ministry, Emmanuel Ngwarati.

We are going to meet next Friday for deliberations and then write a report to Finance Permanent Secretary Mr George Guvamatanga by March 15.

When contacted by The Herald, Ngwarati declined to comment, stating that he was not permitted by his office to speak to the media.

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