MUTARE – Commuters in Mutare who have bone the brunt of high commuter omnibus fares have been rescued as transport mogul Isau Mupfumi has unveiled 10 state of the art buses that will ply various routes under the affordable ZUPCO programme.
The luxury coaches were officially unveiled at a colourful ceremony on Saturday at The Platinum Bar one of Mupfumi’s premises by the Minister of State for Manicaland province Ellen Gwaradzimba.
In his remarks Mupfumi said he was partnering the government in embracing President Emerson Mnangagwa’s vision of developing and empowering communities.
“President Mnangagwa is a genuine and committed reformer and this is the reason why we are embracing his vision through the provision of these buses,” said Mupfumi.
“The President has chanted the socio-economic future of Zimbabwe as a middle income nation by 2030. So as a transporter and through these buses we are consciously taking part in nation building,” said the popular businessman and politician.
“But, the efforts of President Mnangagwa are being sabotaged by the sanctions imposed on us that are continuously affecting our people,” explained Mupfumi.
He added that he was touched by the plight of the long suffering commuters who were now failing to travel as a result of President exorbitant fares.
Commuters were forking out $5 per single trip. ZUPCO charges $1.
“Many commuters were feeling the heat and were no longer able to pay for the fares. So l have the people at heart and these buses are for them. It is my duty to serve the community,” Mupfumi said.
Gwaradzimba said the move by Mupfumi was highly commendable.
“I am really humbled by this achievement by Mupfumi. It is because he is one of us from Manicaland. This is a greatest national achievement that must be emulated,” she said.
“People like Mupfumi are taking the heed and calls by our President of nation building. People like Mupfumi are now embracing the government’s development initiatives,” Gwaradzimba said.
She added that the unveiling of buses was a step in the right direction in terms of devolution.
“This is a perfect start for devolution which we must fully embrace,” Gwaradzimba said.
Elated commuters said the buses have been a huge sigh of the relief.
“Some of us were no longer affording the hiked fares. And the buses have come at the right time. We want to thank Cde Mupfumi for this noble move. He has remembered us in times of great need,” said Manuel Chadzingwa a Dangamvura resident.
Before the new luxury coaches, Mupfumi had 15 buses under the ZUPCO programme.
Another set of 10 buses are expected in January next year.