Commuter omnibus operators in Harare have hiked fares again citing fuel shortages. Resultantly, many commuters who did not see this coming were yesterday left stranded.
Speaking to the Daily News, a kombi driver who plies the Chitungwiza-Harare route said:
There is no diesel, at the few service stations where it is available, one can spend the entire night in the queue and still not get a full tank, which is enough to carry passengers for the better part of the day.
We are turning to the black market where it is very expensive. We have to raise the fares for us to make a profit. Otherwise we would be working all day without getting anything.
Early this year, the government subcontracted several bus companies to plie local routes which kombis operate in. The NewsDay suggests that the buses have since disappeared. Last month, the government received some buses which were said to be part of more than 200 bought by the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco).
As of yesterday, kombis were charging $2 for routes which used to cost a $1. Some commuters have resultantly resorted to going home late when commuters usually lower their fares.
NewsDay reports that a few service stations had fuel yesterday which as a result caused long meandering queues.
Minister of Energy, Joram Gumbo attributed the crisis to the scarcity of foreign currency. Gumbo said enough fuel was in the country but companies could not purchase it without foreign currency.
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