Kombi Operators Bemoan ZUPCO’s Outrageous Daily Targets

Private Commuter Omnibus (Kombi) operators affiliated to the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) have bemoaned the “outrageous” daily targets they are supposed to meet.

Kombi operators are reportedly expected to hit a target of RTGS$15000 per day while their daily wage is reportedly at RTGS$4000.

This means ZUPCO takes RTGS$11000 and there are reports that the government parastatal delays in paying operators thereby affecting Kombi operations.

Startup.biz reports that Kombi operators are paid in RTGS$ which is ironic given that operators would have remitted cash.

This means they will end up incurring costs as they will be converting the RTGS back to cash as some service providers do not accept electronic money.

As a result of many challenges associated with being registered under ZUPCO, dozens of Kombi operators have reportedly quit.

Startup.biz reports that around 98 per cent of commuter omnibuses that had initially registered under ZUPCO are now parked with owners highlighting that it was no sustainable to keep their vehicles on the road.

They claim that the money they get monthly is not enough to meet costs such as maintenance of the vehicles and to pay staff.

Reports suggest that for a kombi to affiliate with ZUPCO, operators need about ZWL$128 000 that will cover all the requirements spanning from operating licenses to VID retests.

The ZUPCO initiative was reintroduced in 2019 to address anarchy that prevailed in the public transport sector.

ZUPCO buses also offered a cheaper option forcing kombi operators who were hiking fares willy nilly to reconsider their actions.

However, newly gazetted fares and long queues that characterise the ZUPCO terminus are testimony that the parastatal is failing to achieve set objectives.

ZUPCO’s fleet is inadequate to address the demand that has been growing especially when the government moved to reopen the economy after a year of the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

While the government is adamant that privately-owned kombis that are not registered under ZUPCO will never get back on the road, reports suggest that there are some that are illegally plying some routes.

More: Pindula News; Startup.biz

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