By Marrian Rushwaya
Government’s unpopular move to designate the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) as the sole urban transporter backfired Tuesday when the company’s bus fleet was grounded by fuel shortages, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
Ironically, the same commuters had to turn to private motorists and mushikashika transport, which has been subjected to a fierce blitz by police in the past weeks.
This followed a notice by the public transporter earlier in the day informing the commuting public the company was not able to avail enough buses during Tuesday’s evening rush hour due to fuel shortages.
“The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), wishes to advise the commuting public that, there will be transport challenges this evening. This has resulted from delays in fuel deliveries at (ZUPCO),” said the company.
ZUPCO called on the public not to panic as it was working to remedy the crisis.
“…the commuting public should not panic as illustrious efforts are underway to ensure that the challenge is resolved.
“We remain committed and will continue to serve the nation with safe, reliable and affordable travel.
“We regret and apologize to all our valued customers for any inconvenience caused.
“Your continued support is greatly appreciated,” ZUPCO said.
Speaking to Zimstar News Tuesday evening, Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) coordinator Tafadzwa Goliati said commuters indeed felt the ZUPCO crisis.
“Today (Tuesday) and yesterday, most commuters were ferried by private vehicles such as lorries, mushikashika vehicles and private kombies.
“The transport situation was terrible. A lot of passengers were inconvenienced.
“This is over and above our concerns that the transport fares are still too high owing to unbudgeted fuel price hikes,” he said.