THE franchised buses system at Zupco is under scrutiny following information gathered by this publication pointing out that some officials are awarding franchises to vehicles lacking roadworthiness.
Government announced that Zupco is the sole public transport provider and vehicles interested in getting contracts (franchise holders) are supposed to go under rigorous vetting, but Zim Morning Post understands operators are paying at least US$300 to circumvent the process.
It has also been established that unregistered Zupco logos are being duplicated and released to the market under unclear circumstances.
“What boggles the mind is the numbers on the batches are being duplicated by Zupco officials paving way for unregistered operators on the roads.”
“The reason why you see damaged (zvipoto zvemakombi) buses on the roads is because operators are paying Zupco officials and are allowed on the road.
“They then go on to siphon fuel from the tank and sell on the black market.
“Its profitable to trade petrol on the black market than from the ticket sales,” revealed our source.
“We also understand that unregistered Zupco logos are being released to the market under unclear circumstances.“
While many operators of conventional buses already have vehicles in the franchised Zupco fleet, unfranchised buses were allowed to be put on the road so long as the operator has a valid operating permit.
Clarifying on who qualifies to be a public transporter and will be allowed to transport people during the lockdown, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana said anyone in the transport business with a valid permit was eligible to transport people to and from work.
But the operators are acting in complete negation of the requirements.
Zupco chief executive Evaristo Madangwa could not be immediately available for a comment.