The Zimbabwean Human Rights NGO Forum has accused the government of attempting to do a hostile takeover of kombis through Zupco.
Under the current Level 2 Coronavirus lockdown, kombis are not allowed to operate. Buses operating under the ZUPCO banner are however allowed to operate. The government has asked private transport operators to register as ZUPCO transporters in order to be classified as official service providers.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said the move is unfair and has been considered a hostile takeover attempt:
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Statutory Instrument (SI) 99 of 2020 Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) National Lockdown (Amendment Order No.5, 2020) stipulated that public buses are the only mode of public transport allowed. Omnibus like Kombis and smaller taxis are still not permitted to operate.
Private transport operators have been negatively affected by the pronouncement. According to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo, private transport operators to be classified as official service providers have to register with Zupco so that they can operate during the lockdown period. However, coercing private transport operators to join Zupco is an unfair practice and private transport operators have seen the move as a hostile takeover of their business.
In Zimbabwe, kombis are minibusses registered and operating as public transport providers.