Chitown in talks with kombi operators

Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
Commuter omnibus operators in Chitungwiza met with council bosses on Monday seeking a reduction of the newly introduced $100 annual operating licence fee as they feel the figure is too high.

This follows skirmishes that erupted on January 5 after commuter omnibus crews protested against the introduction of the fee, resulting in property worth thousands of dollars being destroyed.

More than 40 people have since appeared in court at Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Court charged with the public violence which erupted during the skirmishes.

Chitungwiza Town Clerk Mr George Makunde confirmed the meeting.

“The commuter omnibus unions and associations approached us requesting a downward variation of the annual operating licence fee from $100 to a yet to be disclosed figure,” said Mr Makunde.

He said a committee comprising members from the parties involved had been set up for them to map the way forward.

“We are yet to get to the figure which is not subject to disclosure now since council management have to agree after tabling the matter in a council meeting for reconsideration of the original resolution made in December last year.”

Mr Makunde said a committee comprising members from the parties involved had been set up for them to map the way forward.

“We have set up a joint committee comprising three council officials and four members two from the operators’ union for us to continuously liaise on issues concerning the transport sector in Chitungwiza,” he said.

“Hopefully, by the end of the week, we would be done on the issue that will soon be agreed upon.”

Chitungwiza Commuter Omnibus Operators’ Association spokesperson Mr Farai Muza said they met with council bosses seeking to reach common ground.

“We discussed issues pertaining the payment of rank disks and are expecting council to improve its services in terms of erecting toilets, shelters, benches as well as install lights at our bus stops for the safety of our customers,” he said.

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