It was sweet music to the ears when government recently announced that all transport fares for Zupco buses had been slashed by 50%. Indeed the news was received with excitement and ululation as the country braces itself for tough economic times.
The excitement and joy was however short lived when reality struck at the end of the day. Huge queues were seen at the buses’ pick up points which later culminated into an exercise of jostling and shoving as people struggled to make it into the buses. Some able bodied men were seen entering the buses through open windows.
As if that was not pathetic enough, those who could no longer be accommodated inside the buses after they had filled up eneded up sitting on top of the buses where luggage is supposed to be carried in a bid to get home through the cheapest mode of transport.
The Zupco buses have clearly come at a time when people were finding it impossible to travel using local kombis which were charging exhorbitant fares due to the increase in fuel prices. However, the buses are eveidently not enough and there is great anticipation that government will provide more buses to curb tell crisis.
The situation has been worsened by the fact that aven those who own cars are unable to buy fuel anymore so they are resorting to the use of the buses. The situation is however, worrisome as the risk of theft and injury to others especially pregnant women and children in the queues is high.