Minibus chaos in Harare

HARARE - As Harare City Council moves to return sanity to the sunshine city by centralising commuter minibuses, the move has caused chaos as the designated places do not have the capacity to accommodate a vast number of minibuses and commuters.

From Copa Cabana rank, there is chaos extending to Chinhoyi Street, with roads becoming impassable.

“Yesterday there was a guy I caught holding my pockets in the pushing and shoving, this is horrible,” said Tapiwa Shumba, a 20-year-old university student.

“Yes we want our city to be clean but not at the expense of our pockets.”

A 65-year-old Sekuru Jambwa said fares have been hiked as a result of the chaos.

“My child I stay in Warren Park. Before, our kombis came here they charged us R5 but ever since they moved to this place they are now charging $1,” he said.

“I approached two police officers to tell them of the fee problem that we as commuters were facing, and they said they do not deal with those matters and referred me to Interpol (international Police), I do not even know what Interpol is.”

Although the city authorities said the move will help regulate transport operators, the operators themselves are complaining that the termini are too small to cater for all of them.

“As of now after I load my vehicle I have to wait more than 15 minutes for the kombis around me to be full because there is no space to get out, as you can see it’s bumper-to-bumper,” said Phineus Chitoro, who plies the Mandara-City route.

The main kombi ranks being used by the operators are Copa Cabana, Charge Office, Fourth Street terminis and Market Square.

“During the times of the Zupco buses, yes it was okay, they had systems in place to control the movement of buses so that there would not be congestion at the terminus,” Chitoro said.

Comments (1)

City of Harare should return to the previous arrangement but be strict on touting and picking & dropping of passengers at undesignated zones.This chaos has caused unjustified fare hikes.Furthermore,they MUST ensure combis without permits and rank disks are impounded & not allowed to carry passengers instead of 'arresting' them and release them after taking bribes.We have heard about the new rank to be built in the Kopje area for a long time but nothing tangible up to date.Instead of leasing out land for a pittance,the council should instead build new ranks to ease congestion.Harare residents deserve better service given that they pay through the nose for council services which remain a pipe dream to be enjoyed yet councillors are busy lining their pockets and buying expensive vehicles for non peforming office bearers

senior - 28 March 2013

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