By Staff Reporter
MDC Alliance secretary for transport and Mbizo MP, Settlement Chikwinya has expressed concern over how the government was failing to put in place sustainable transport measures during the current COVID-19 lockdown, leaving a high number of workers and other travellers stranded.
Under the COVID-19 transport regulations, only the public transporter, ZUPCO is allowed to provide mass public transport while inter-city buses are banned.
However, according to Chikwinya, the government, since the start of the lockdown at the end of March, has failed to put in place a sustainable public transport system that is efficient and effective for commuters.
He said the chaotic public transport system was instead exposing commuters to COVID-19 as they spent hours crowded at bus terminals waiting for the few ZUPCO buses available.
“The whole situation can be attributed to poor planning. The safety measures to curb the possible spread of coronavirus through the use of the public transport system was poor from the onset of the lockdown,” Chikwinya said.
He said the revival of ZUPCO by the government was more of a Ponzi scheme which is aimed at looting the State-owned company’s coffers.
“Since its revival, ZUPCO has done little to relieve desperate commuters their transport woes. Besides, the opaque nature of ZUPCO’s reintroduction, most of the parastatal’s rickety buses were death traps as they were not being serviced for good mechanical functionality and passenger safety.
“The ZUPCO model was never going to be sustainable as it lacks both efficiency and accountability. The ZUPCO model was just another looting platform as it is reported that more than USD$13 million is channelled towards that scheme every month,” Chikwinya said.