MDC Condemns Latest ‘Anti-Poor’ ZUPCO Fare Increase
The opposition MDC Alliance has condemned the latest fare hike by ZUPCO, calling the government’s approval of the increase an anti-poor decision.
Zupco recently announced a 100% fare increase for urban routes. Under the new fare structure, passengers will now pay $30 per trip for Zupco buses, up from $16, while the parastatal also raised kombi fees to $60, up from $32.
In a statement, MDC Alliance Secretary for Transport and logistics, Settlement Chikwinya said Government was taking a blind eye on the plight of the poor majority.
“The latest 100 percent fare increase on ZUPCO buses approved by government is a testimony that our government continues to turn blind attention to the plight of the poor majority especially in these complex Covid-19 times.
“Early January the Government through SI 10/2021 locked down the informal sector largely comprised of vendors in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid19. While the lockdown measures were necessary, the specific targeting of the sectors that provide a living for the poor left many vulnerable.
“The government continues in its quest to bury the poor while alive by putting in place more anti-poor policies such as the recent doubling of all ZUPCO fares. The continued monopoly of ZUPCO on public transport systems provides fertile ground for corrupt practices between well-known Business moguls who are connected to the echelons of power and have a tendency of supplying government with ZUPCO buses bought at some questionable prices,” said Chikwinya.
He accused business people who control the fuel system in the country of enforcing fuel price increase which in turn forces the public transporter to effect ‘unjustified’ increases.
“The same business moguls literally control the fuel supply system and they first forced government to increase fuel prices unjustifiably and now the increase in ZUPCO fares is a result of the domino effect of fuel price increase.
“It is sad that during such pandemic times when business has been adversely affected, government investment vehicles operating in the mining fields in minerals like Diamonds, Gold and Platinum should be releasing relief funds to caution the suffering masses but again the identified business moguls have taken over control of these government portfolios and as expected the money is not finding its way to benefiting the public.
He added “Such insensitive and uncaring behavior from a government must be resisted by the consumers and a call for opening up of the transport sector to allow for participation of all registered vehicles must grow louder. A competitive free market in the transport system is the only way to allow market determined fares to be established.
“The MDC Alliance takes sad note to observe that Uniformed Civil Servants are now resorting to putting on their uniforms even when off duty in an attempt to avoid paying ZUPCO fares. This goes to show that the fares are just out of reach of the ordinary.”