Private commuter omnibuses may never be allowed to ply urban routes again as the government currently has no intentions of lifting the ban.
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana.
Mangwana was responding to an enquiry in the surge of kombis ferrying passengers in Masvingo City after government further relaxed lockdown restrictions. Said Mangwana:
They are not authorised to ferry passengers and the police will treat them as pirate taxis.
It’s not clear yet as to when the government will consider lifting the ban. They may never (return to business).
Earlier, Mangwana’s junior, the Masvingo Provincial Information Officer Rodgers Irimayi emphasised that the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) franchise will continue providing transport services to the urban commuters.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, only kombis that have joined the ZUPCO franchise are allowed to operate in cities and towns.
The government maintains that ZUPCO buses are manageable and this helps to curb the spread of the coronavirus.