Government has finally broken it’s silence on the return of kombis. Commuter omnibuses were taken off the roads in March when the country initially announced the coronavirus induced lockdown. The Zimbabwean government has expressed interest in engaging private commuter omnibus operators (Kombis) amid concerns of transport woes in the country.
Addressing members of the media following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Defence and War Veteran Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said: As we have been observing the number of infections coming under control and also the opening of quite a number of sectors, now we see a need to bring in other players.Originally, every private operator who wanted to operate had to register with Zupco but we realise that Zupco also has some challenges. There are now new players in the economy and therefore the need that we open up, especially inter-city transport.She added that the private commuter omnibuses have to be registered with relevant authorities and also have to be roadworthy. Unregistered kombis operating without route permits, at undesignated picking points known as Mushikashika, have in the past caused headaches for local authorities who intended to collect taxes.The government parastatal, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is failing to quench the high demand which rose when the country reopened the economy.
The transport crisis in the current has reached boiling point and moving from one area to another is simply an ardous task. People have been calling for the return of kombis and those that are part of essential services have lamented lack of proper Zupco bus services.