Kombi operators contracted by ZUPCO to ferry passengers countrywide under President Mnangagwa’s cheap urban transportation scheme have not been paid by the parastatal since 14 November, Newsday reports.
The matter was revealed to the publication by the Greater Harare Commuter Omnibus Association secretary-general, Ngonidzashe Katsvairo who said the operators went for Christmas empty-handed:
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The payment backlog is now one month. We are paid every two weeks so that in turn we also pay our workers and service the vehicles. There is now a salary backlog and our vehicles have not been serviced, which will compromise the safety of passengers as both the driver and the vehicle will not be fit for the road mentally and physically.
Passenger transport is our livelihood so we will soldier on, but with the status quo we will be putting lives of passengers at risk. We will continue to engage the government for early and adequate payments. They are failing to pay but we are alleviating transport challenges in the country.
We have requested the government to recognise associations so that they can self-regulate and monitor errant operators just as professional associations do, such as those of lawyers, accountants, estate agents and others. There will be order.
According to the publication the operators staged a demonstration at the parastatal’s headquarters on Christmas eve demanding their money. Kombi operators under the franchise are supposed to get $4 000 per day. ZUPCO did not comment on the report.