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Kombi operators plead with Government

23 May, 2019 - 12:05 0 Views
Kombi operators plead with Government Fradrick Maguramhinga

H-Metro

Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter

KOMBI operators in Harare have pleaded for dialogue with government to facilitate a package that would help them stay in business.

The recent fuel price hike coupled with a 50 percent slash in Zupco fares seriously threatens the viability of privately owned commuter omnibuses that have to battle with market forces to come up with viable fares.

Ngoni Katsvairo

While Zupco is charging a minimum of 50c and maximum $1 (RTGS) for up to 40km radius, kombi operators believe viability is least guaranteed with a minimum fare of $3,70 (RTGS) for a 10km radius.

The one way kombi fare is however, enough for three and half days on Zupco.

With effect from yesterday, kombis under the Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators set the following fares:

DISCOUNT ACTUAL

0.1-10km          $2.50         $3.70

10.01-20km     $3.00         $5.50

20.01-30km    $3.50         $8.00

30.01+km         $4.00         $9.50

GHACO is an association of Kombi owners operating within Harare suburban and nearby cities and towns.

GHACO secretary general, Ngoni Katsvairo said they were appealing to government for cheaper fuel.

“We appeal to government to provide cheaper fuel to compliant kombi operators so they can be able to further discount the fares from the current charges. We are not even charging the actual fares based on Total Cost per KM as shown next to the discounted fares.

“The TCK is open for all to see and satisfy themselves to costs we are facing on ground – spares and other running costs are out of this world and kombis are just hanging in there as a national service otherwise there is no more business sense,” he said.

He added:

“We also need government to support our efforts to self-regulate and control just as it is doing to artisanal miners and farmers federations/associations. Touts and a rogue & greed operators are messing up the good intentions of [email protected] and compliant operators.

touts were the ones who increased fare at various ranks.

“We are prepared for a dialogue with local authorities and government in addressing transport issues and make sure our operators are disciplined,” said Katsvairo.

“We are blamed for increasing fares to passengers when touts stationing themselves in various pick up points are the ones who increase fares.

“They increase fares whenever they see a sizeable number of commuters looking for transport.

“Touts are the ones who approach drivers ordering them to ferry passengers they would have already charged fares.

“As commuter omnibus operators we are appealing to local authorities to help us in dealing with these touts as well as select service stations where our buses fill up.

“We want local authorities to register few rank marshals and, if possible, give them uniforms so as to deal with touts who are causing untold suffering to commuters,” said Katsvairo.

ZIMBABWE Union of Drivers and Conductors is appealing to the government to consider them in accessing subsidised fuel in addressing transport problems.

ZUDC representative, Fradrick Maguramhinga said drivers are appealing to government to consider their services in providing transport before the coming in of ZUPCO.

“We are appealing to the government to include kombis to benefit in the subsidised fuel the same way ZUPCO buses are enjoying since we are in the transport sector,” said Maguramhinga.

“ZUPCO came in when we have been at the heart of making sure people reach their destination on time and if it is about the fares we agree other than forcing drivers and conductors to lose their jobs.

“Transport sector is providing food on the table for many people that is why we are appealing to authorities to consider our plight.

“Many drivers and conductors are losing hope by the coming in of ZUPCO and we do not discourage their coming into the industry but to help each other in addressing transport problems.

“They may not give us the same subsidy similar to that of ZUPCO but give us a portion to keep us on road to survive,” said Maguramhinga.

Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus secretary general, Ngoni Katsvairo said touts were the ones who increased fare at various ranks.

“We are prepared for a dialogue with local authorities and government in addressing transport issues and make sure our operators are disciplined,” said Katsvairo.

“We are blamed for increasing fares to passengers when touts stationing themselves in various pick up points are the ones who increase fares.

“They increase fares whenever they see a sizeable number of commuters looking for transport.

“Touts are the ones who approach drivers ordering them to ferry passengers they would have already charged fares.

“As commuter omnibus operators we are appealing to local authorities to help us in dealing with these touts as well as select service stations where our buses fill up.

“We want local authorities to register few rank marshals and, if possible, give them uniforms so as to deal with touts who are causing untold suffering to commuters,” said Katsvairo.

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