Kombis now “back” on the road and with a vengeance

COMMUTERS in Harare and its dormitory towns like Chitungwiza and Norton’s on Monday described as unrealistic the push by Kombi owners to be allowed back on the road, describing the fares being charged by those clandestinely back as both extortionist and unrealistic, Zim Morning Post can report.

Kombis were temporarily stopped from plying their respective routes at the end of March as government implemented measures to curb the spread of the novel global coronvirus pandemic.

But it would seem those who have ‘permitted’ themselves on the roads – and there are many of them – are now back with a vengeance.

“We are having to fork out ZWL50 for a single trip from Harare suburbs into town,” Morgan Masunda, a Harare South resident, lamented.

For the same trip, however, government subsidised Zupco buses charge ZWL8.

Zim Morning Post understands that the same scenario obtains in every Harare suburb.

In Norton and Chitungwiza, where Zupco buses charge ZWL24, ‘illegal’ commuter omnibuses demand about ZWL100 or US$1 each from their hapless clients.

“It would seem that Kombi owners are in the transport business for a kill.

“I think government should not allow private transporters back on the roads at the moment,” Raphael Kujinga, a Norton resident who claims to travel five days a week (between Norton and Harare), said.

Both diesil and petrol cost less than RTGS100 per litre.

An expert in the transport industry, Moses Chindege, said for a single trip between Norton and Harare, two-and-half litres of fuel would suffice.

“For purposes of permutations, a single Norton-Harare trip or vice versa would raise ZWL1 800 for the transporter if full.

“Now, the two-and-half litres of fuel would have cost the Kombi owner about ZWL250.

“Calculate for yourself how much the transporter would have made in terms of profit in that just one trip,” Chindege said.