Finance Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube has revealed that the return of ZUPCO buses has seen the Treasury releasing $13 million in subsidies every month.
The ZUPCO programme was introduced to cushion members of the public particularly workers who were no longer affording ever-increasing fares by public transport operators.
Speaking at a post-mid-term budget review meeting hosted by Alpha Media Holdings in conjunction with Zimbabwe Economics Society in Harare on Monday, Ncube said:
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Again, we have the Zupco programme in terms of mass urban transport system, a subsidy that is costing us $13 million per month.
We are committed to subsidise the transport so that the vulnerable can get transport. Of course, we are now figuring out how to accelerate the expansion into rural expansion. When government does this kind of reform, it’s good that you provide social protection.
Some government critics have always questioned the sustainability of the programme given that fuel prices have been on the rise at least twice a month lately. ZUPCO charges $0.50 per trip that is now charged about $3.00 by other public transport operators.
They have slammed president Mnangagwa’s populist policies saying that they have brought Zimbabwe to its knees. They noted that former President Robert Mugabe rejected advice from the then president of China, Deng who warned him against pursuing populist policies.
Recently, Mnangagwa concurred with them when he was talking about austerity measures which he said were unpopular but necessary.
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