Desmond Munemo and Tatenda Chipungudzanye
Privately owned commuter omnibuses (kombis) excluded from operating owing to the government’s Covid-19 lockdown measures have significantly resurfaced in Harare.
H-Metro has established an increasing number of banned kombis which are evading police check points while plying to and from Mbare Musika and Highfield Machipisa areas.
The kombis are transporting mostly vegetable market vendors to Mbare Musika and Machipisa in the early hours of the morning while some are daringly operating throughout the day despite police pursuits.
Government extended the ban on kombis beyond the national lockdown and only allows them to operate under the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) franchise.
The indefinite ban on kombis by the government is facing a subtle resistance as kombi conductors are not employing their usual touting style through the window.
This publication took time to scrutinize the development on the roads and bumped into a kombi crew operating in Warren Park D which became hostile after this publication tried to engage them.
However, vendors waiting for transport to ferry them to their market destinations managed to speak out.
One who identified herself as Mai Carol said:
“We would rather have them back because the transport situation is not looking good as you can see we have been queuing here for some time.
“We do not have Zupco buses plying Mbare Musika route or Lusaka.
“Even if we try to board private cars, they won’t be able to accommodate our luggage, which is why we don’t have any problem with these banned kombis operating anywhere.”
Several weeks ago, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said it was criminal that kombis were resurfacing on the road and added that police would descend heavily on lawbreakers.