By Bulawayo Correspondent
SCORES of Bulawayo commuters were Friday forced to walk to work in the city centre and industrial areas as most ZUPCO buses were grounded due to an acute diesel shortage in the city.
Others failed to go to work altogether due to the transport challenges.
Bulawayo businessman and fuel dealer Enerst Marima confirmed the crisis.
“There is a critical shortage of diesel and petrol today. All sorts of transport including Zupco are very short of fuel today,” wrote Marima in a WhatsApp group post.
NewZimbabwe.com witnessed scores of commuters stranded at most bus termini in the western high-density parts of the city.
Some of the ZUPCO buses and kombis were parked at the company’s depot in the city.
“This morning, I walked a distance of about five kilometres from Tshabalala because there were no ZUPCO buses.
“I am not sure if transport will be available in the evening when I knock off, otherwise I will be forced to walk again,” said a commuter who only identified himself as Silas.
Another commuter, Herbert Dlamini said he failed to get into the city centre because there were no Zupco buses operating.
“I normally board the early bus when going to the market to buy vegetables. Today, there were no buses. The only transport which was there were private motorists who were charging $20 per trip,” said Dlamini.
ZUPCO buses charge just $4 per single trip while kombis charge $8.
However, one Zupco bus driver told this publication there was no fuel at the depot.
“Each bus is allocated 100 litres of diesel for every two days. We have not been receiving our allocation for the past two days. We have been waiting since Wednesday,” said the driver.
Only a few foreign currency fuel selling service stations were selling the commodity.
Most service stations in the city have been without diesel with continued long fuel queues despite the continued spiral of fuel prices.