Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Amon Murwira said there is no ZUPCO monopoly but the transport utility is simply managing the national transport system in an orderly manner to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Murwira said this while responding to parliamentarians who had called for the liberalisation of the transport sector and put an end the Zimbabwe Passenger Company (ZUPCO) monopoly ahead of the reopening of schools for examinations later this month. Said Murwira:
If we talk about ZUPCO without taking into context the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to interpret this whole thing correctly.
It is important to note that the ZUPCO that we are talking about is just a coordinating mechanism. There are a lot of private players that are having their vehicles being managed under the ZUPCO franchise.
There is no monopoly of ZUPCO, but just coordination by ZUPCO, of the national transportation system so that we can have a predictable way of preventing to the best our ability the spread of COVID-19.
The government banned privately-owned kombis from the road in March at the start of the lockdown.
As a result, members of the public spend hours waiting for the few ZUPCO-run buses to travel to, and from work.