Soldiers bash Byo kombi staff for overcharging

BULAWAYO - Kombi operators in Bulawayo yesterday reported their staff being bashed by soldiers for charging $2 bus fare.

The soldiers were allegedly demanding that the kombis reduce their fares to $1 or park their vehicles.

Witnesses from Sizinda, Tshabalala and Nketa Mnyoro told the Daily News that kombi drivers and conductors were being beaten up for allegedly overcharging.

Speaking to the Daily News, Tshova Mbaiwa chairperson Atlas Moyo said he did not personally see soldiers beating up the drivers but confirmed that one of the drivers came to the offices badly beaten and said soldiers roughed him up.

“There is one driver who passed-by and could not even get out of the vehicle because of pain, he was severely beaten. However, personally I did not see the soldiers beating him,” Moyo said.

He, however, said more drivers were saying they were beaten up for over charging.

“But our Kombis are not charging $2, we are charging $1.50, so right now this is all confusing,” Moyo said.

Efforts to get a comment from Bulawayo United Public Transporters Association (Bupta) representative were fruitless as he said he is in a meeting and cannot comment.

One conductor who spoke to this paper said they were being intimidated and told that they should not compete with Zupco. He said if the soldiers said if the kombis cannot charge a $1 then they must retire.

Commuters are, however, relieved that kombi fare have been reduced but expressed concern over the renewed conflict.

“The kombis are now back at dollar as soldiers came to the rescue, but the way they are operating might spark anger from these groups of conductors.

“I hope they come up with another way of making the kombi operators to comply rather than using this command method,” said Zuzu, one of the commuters.

Contacted for comment, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said she has not received any reports or cases of drivers and conductors being beaten up.

“No I am not aware of such but will find out,” Simango said.

Comments (6)

No doubt about it even here in Harare soldiers are bullying commuter bus workers.

Jola - 24 January 2019

It saves them well, kombi operators must learn to fight for the same cause, they are a greedy lot. You are specificaly told to park so why not park your vehicles. Is the $1.50 worth the ware and tare.

simon moyo - 24 January 2019

Our security services are so poorly trained no wonder they use outdated barbaric methods, they have no clue on human rights and rule of law. ZNA has become a security risk, their core duty of defending Zim's territorial integrity is no longer guaranteed thank God there are no external threats.

Sinyo - 25 January 2019

they deserve that why are they overcharging innocent people if they cant comply they have to park their combis ...mahwindi vakangoona pakaita vanhu 10 chete price yotochinja hanzi yava $2 mukaita 15 vochinja yava $2.50 mukaita 20 yava $3 saka pasi navo vanhu ivavo vanoda kudzorera nyika kumashure ...imi varidzi vemakombi itai basa renyu zviripamurawu kwete kusiya vashandi venyu vachibira vanhu masikati machena akadai...makombi enyu arikuurawa nevashandi avo varikuita mari imi musina chamurikuwana ivo vachitenga dzimotokari

ndini - 25 January 2019

The article just does not make sense! How can one say the soldiers said kombis should not compete with ZUPCO, when the kombis are actually charging more than ZUPCO!? What competition is being referred to here!? My view is their are errant kombi crews who are charging more than $1.50, it's that simple!

Mhofu Chaiyo - 25 January 2019

Zimbabwe now being run by soldiers,since when soldiers started controlling commuter fares.Soldiers must go back to the barracks.

wise - 25 January 2019

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