Zengeza kombis hike fares

HARARE - Commuter omnibus operators in Zengeza have hiked their fares citing police roadblocks and VID officers who demand too much from them as the cause.

Residents who are already hard pressed for money, owing to the liquidity crunch currently bedevilling the country, will now have to fork out $1.50 instead of $1 for a trip from the dormitory town to Harare’s central business district.

However, conventional buses still plying the same routes have, maintained their old fares. Metro train buses  now plying the City - St Mary’s route are sticking to 5 rand per trip.

But the number of train buses are not enough and cannot satisfy demand as there are only 3 buses plying that route.

Affected routes where fares are now $1.50 in Chitungwiza are Zengeza 1-5 and St Mary’s.

In an interview with Daily News on Sunday, a commuter omnibus operator who declined to be named stated that the fare hike had not been necessitated by fuel price hike but the traffic police and VID officers who were issuing out tickets even when kombis had not committed an offense.

“We do not have problems with fuel or anything but VID officers and traffic police are now killing our business. There are too many roadblocks and it’s not good for our business,” he said.

Another operator who plies City- Zengeza said traffic police had at least four roadblocks starting from St Mary’s police station right up to fly over in town.

“We do consider our customers because they are the ones who make our business grow, were it not for them then we would not be here, but the traffic police are killing our business if we keep charging $1 and then we get tickets on all the four roadblocks we will have nothing left at the end of the day,” he said.

Monica Mushani, a Zengeza resident said the sudden hike has adversely affected her budget. She urged commuter operators to inform their customers in advance to enable them to make the necessary adjustments.

“I only discovered in the morning when I was going to work that they had

adjusted the fare. Why did they not tell us in time and not surprise us instead of being ambushed,” Mushani said.

However, other commuters are resisting the fares preferring to while away time wandering around town until late into the evening when the charges would have been reduced.

When contacted for comment police spokesperson Charity Charamba professed ignorance on the matter of roadblocks in the area.

“I have no idea on the issue of the Chitungwiza commuter omnibus fare hike and I don’t know about the four roadblocks along Seke Road. I will have to confirm with the traffic police,” she said.

Comments (2)

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Charity Charamba knows well what happens at Harvest House a second ago than what is happening anywhere else. Stop using her as a police spokesman. When fines are directed to Chinamasa' ministry we will see sanity on the roads. As long as fines are going to the police we will see heavy presents of police on our roads.

Maita Manyuka - 1 April 2014

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