Privately-owned kombis may never return to the country’s roads post-coronavirus crisis after they were banned in late March when the government imposed stringent lockdown restrictions.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana recently said the country should never go back to the unregulated “anarchy” of the pre-COVID-19 days. He posted on Twitter:
As we gradually ease down the lockdown measures we have experienced since 30 March 2020, we should never go back to the unregulated Kombi anarchy of yesteryear.
We can’t have the indignity from loutish behaviour which degrades women and disregards courtesy to others.
The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has been the sole public transporter since 30 March but its buses and commuter omnibuses are woefully inadequate.
ZUPCO is currently “renting” privately-owned vehicles but reports have indicated that the owners are not happy with the meagre commission they are getting from the parastatal.
Passengers are also exposed to the vagaries of bad weather and possible coronavirus infection as they spend hours while waiting for the few buses.