The Zimbabwe Republic Police has banned all buses which are not contracted to the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO). This includes school buses as well as company staff buses.
According to the police, only ZUPCO buses and commuter omnibuses are allowed to operate on the country’s roads. If schools and companies want their vehicles to be able to ferry students and workers, they will need to approach ZUPCO, so that they can be contracted under the public carrier.
This information was revealed by acting Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele at a press conference at Ross Camp on Thursday. She is quoted by online publication Cite Zimbabwe as saying,
“As police, we say there is no selective application of law hence staff buses and vehicles ferrying school children not contracted under ZUPCO are not allowed to operate.
“Some of these commuter omnibuses are not even contracted by the companies or schools that they claim to be serving.
“This kind of operation is illegal as only those commuter omnibuses that are contracted to ZUPCO are allowed to operate.
Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele also strongly warned passengers from boarding non-ZUPCO vehicles saying that they risked being arrested.
“Passengers are warned from boarding non-ZUPCO kombis or buses at undesignated points as they face being arrested. More so, these kombis no longer have a certificate of fitness hence they will put passengers’ lives at risk as they no longer have passenger insurance hence posing to be a potential hazard to the public. Passengers risk their lives as these vehicles go against road rules and signs for example going one way and red robots fleeing away from the police.”
Private commuter omnibuses were banned by the government last year. The kombis were initially banned during the first Covid-19 induced lockdown.
However, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo later made the ban permanent arguing that the government wanted to bring sanity to the transport sector. The government said that kombis will only be allowed back on the road if they register with and fall under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco).