Harare(New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday urged public transport operators to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines to prevent the spread of the pandemic during the coming festive season.
Like the rest of the world which has recently seen a spike in Covid-19 cases, Zimbabwe is currently battling a fourth wave of the pandemic.
This has resulted in a spike in daily Covid-19 infections and the number of active cases.
Speaking as he commissioned 90 buses of the pyblic owned Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco), President Mnangagwa said Covid-19 cases were likey to spiral during the festive season, which is usually punctuated by mass movement of people.
“In view of the upcoming festive season and the threat posed by the 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I challenge the transport sector and nation at large to remain vigilant and to adhere to the COVID-19 public health guidelines religiously. I also call upon those who are yet to be vaccinated to go and get vaccinated, remember, no one is safe until everyone is safe, ” he said.
The 90 new buses brings to over 500 the number of publicly owned buses.
President Mnangagwa said addition of buses to the existing fleet, bolsters his administration’s ongoing quest to guarantee the provision of efficient, reliable, safe, and affordable public transport services, for mass rural and urban areas.
“The ongoing growth, modernisation and industrialisation of the economy, with its attendant increased production and productivity, give impetus to the need for a more efficient and affordable public transport sector.
” The ongoing purchase and replenishment of buses for the ZUPCO fleet is therefore a reflection of my Government’s determination to lighten the transport burden for our commuting public, while facilitating increased mobility for economic productivity, ” he said.
He said more buses were on the way.
” These latest acquired buses bring the new ZUPCO fleet to over 500. This must see ZUPCO servicing its routes more efficiently, particularly during peak hours, while at the same time providing employment opportunities to many. The public transport service partnership with the National Railways of Zimbabwe, which is designed to alleviate public transport challenges, is also applauded and must be continuously improved, ” he said.
He warned the Zupco management and crew to abstain from corruption.
” Under the Second Republic, the yester-year lethargic approach of ZUPCO, characterised by corruption and mismanagement of resources, among other vices, will not be condoned. It is also my expectation that ZUPCO will consistently offer reliable business services to commuters, with strict adherence to set timetable.
“It is commendable that the ongoing partnership with the Harare Institute of Technology has seen the deployment of ICT based innovations for the establishment of a digital transport management system. The bus tracking system, E-Fuelling and E-Ticketing should be deployed more expansively to further reduce cases of pilferage and increase revenue collection, ” said the President.