The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government said that the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company’s (ZUPCO) bus management scheme is gobbling $51 million per month.
Presenting the Committee’s report on the 2020 national budget, Committee chairperson Miriam Chikukwa claimed that the money allocated for the subsidy was not enough. She said:
The Local Government ministry planned to undertake projects aimed at poverty reduction, improved sanitation and standards of living in line with vision 2030 growth objectives and to this end $638 million was allocated in the 2030 national budget.
Eighty-five per cent of the amount ($638 million) is earmarked for Zupco bus hire management and the current bus hire is $51 million and if the current trend is to go on, the $540 million will only last for 10 months.
ZUPCO buses were reintroduced earlier this year following deadly riots in January that were caused by an unprecedented fuel price hike which triggered a sharp increase in bus fares.
The buses are heavily subsidised with commuters in urban areas being charged “only” $1 while privately-owned buses charge over $5 for the same trip.