Parliament today expressed serious concern over the manner in which the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is being run, saying it does no longer provide the country’s citizens with efficient transport services.
ZUPCO acting chief executive officer George Masaire and other representatives told the parliamentary committee on Local Government that the parastatal is launching a stratigic plan to revive its fleet by 2016.
The parastatal, which is currently buying buses from a Chinese company citing high local costs, told parliament that it would be purchasing 100 buses per year under its new strategic plan.
The company has been disintegrating over the years, leaving it with a depleted bus fleet for rural and urban operations.
Critics say ZUPCO collapsed as an efficient urban transport company largely because fares were set far below what was required to maintain a fleet and follow a proper replacement schedule for buses, let alone expanding the fleet to cope with the huge post-independence surge in the population.
The critics further say the orderliness and convenience such companies brought with their big buses running on strict timetables is now a thing of the past.
The then ZUPCO chief executive officer Brian Chawasarira was quoted last year by NewsDay as saying the company acquired 304 buses between 2009 and 2011.
Chawasarira noted that they wanted to purchase 1,000 more buses within the next few years in order to revive the company.