Touts and Kombi operators have complained about their current situation as the government prolonged the national lockdown and banned public transporters from operating except for ZUPCO, Kwayedza reports. Mahwindi as they are affectionately known have said they have been incapacitated by the current situation and some of them have even relocated to their rural homes as life in the city gets unbearable.
One of the touts’ representatives in Harare, Solomon “Big Solo” Mandela spoke to the publication and said:
We’re suffering because we dont have money. Some of us live on a hand to mouth basis day to day. The lockdown means they have no money at all.
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The lack of money for food has even resulted in some being left by their wives. We hope the government wont completely ban the kombis from operating. It’d be a desperate situation for us.
Big Solo said most touts survived on a hand to mouth basis and since they were not working right now, they were in serious jeopardy:
We are suffering from hunger because some of us survive on a hand to mouth basis and the lockdown has wiped all their funds away. As we speak some have even separated/divorced their wives during the lockdown because of the lockdown imposed hunger.
We are expecting the government not to boot us from the roads completely leaving ZUPCO only to service all commuters beacause if they do so, touts will be greatly affected.
The government is yet to respond to allegations that after the lockdown buses and kombies under ZUPCO will be the only ones allowed to ferry commuters legally.