Special Advisor to the President on National Disability, Joshua Malinga has called for ZUPCO buses to be made to cater to people who are physically challenged.
ZUPCO buses were recently reintroduced and charge low fares making them attractive to the generality of the citizens.
Malinga considers the current setup not friendly towards people with disabilities. In an interview with Sunday News, he said:
Zupco buses are archaic, they do not cater for people with disabilities who use walking aids and other accessories. People cannot access the cheaper buses because they cannot even get in which is unfair.
We need transport systems that are disability friendly. We are not living in a world of able-bodied people but in a world with a mixture of people and all must be catered for. We need modern buses as a matter of urgency.
There are rampant cases of abuse suffered by disabled people when using public transport, some of it being of a sexual nature. He added:
Moreover, there is a lot of ill-treatment experienced by persons with disabilities from passengers and conductors when boarding these minibuses.
Since a person with special needs/disability takes a lot of space due to the use of an assistive device, other passengers end up not sitting comfortably whereas at times the devices may make them dirty, in particular, the wheels of a wheelchair.
More: Sunday News
Zimbabwe United Passenger Company also known as (ZUPCO) is a state owned parastatal that administers government's public transport buses and commuters. It operates transport services that plies local and regional routes. The parastatal operates under the Ministry of Transport and is headquartered in the Belvedere... Read More About ZUPCO