Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
COMMUTERs have attributed the boarding of unregistered buses, kombis and mushikashika which are operating illegally to lack of Zupco buses and kombis across the country
This comes after police announced that passengers who board buses, kombis and mushikashika not registered under the Zupco franchise risk fines of $2 000 each, as theystep up operations against errant bus, commuter omnibus and private car operators who continue defying Covid-19 regulations.
In separate interviews, the commuters said the fines were unfair as police must assess the transport situation before coming up with such a punitive measure.
They said another reason why they used the mushikashika was because they would want to get home before the curfew kicks in.
Beauty Maphosa said the fines were unfair as there were inadequate Zupco buses in town, forcing her to hitch hike to get home.
“Sometimes you would go to Copa Cabana rank and there will be no buses or even kombis. To make matters worse, you will be late for work or you would want to be home before the curfew time, so you end up going to mushikashika.
“The police must understand that there are not enough Zupco buses for everyone and that not all of us have private vehicles, so they must scrap the fines and encourage those who are hitch hiking to follow the Covid-19 health guidelines,” she said.
Another passenger, Soneni Matore, echoed the same sentiments and said that there was need to increase Zupco buses and kombis if the Government wants commuters to avoid using unregistered transport.
“The reason why we go to mushikashika is because there will be no Zupco buses or kombis at the rank.
“The other thing is that when a Zupco bus leaves, it takes more than an hour for another bus to come and pick up passengers.”
Jabulani Mhlanga said the Government must increase buses so that people will refrain from using unregistered public transport.
“We do not want to board pirate taxis, but we have no choice otherwise we will be stranded in town until late. If you notice, after 7 pm you rarely find any Zupco bus or kombi in town, so the only available alternative is mushikashika.
Knowledge Mutasa said he had no problem with the fining of passengers using illegal transport, but the Government has to take note that some people will be waiting for their spouses, friends or relatives to pick them up at certain points.
“If they want people to use authorised Zupco buses, the Government should extend the curfew hours maybe to 8 pm and increase the number of Zupco buses and kombis. If they do so, I am sure all passengers will be in the ranks without fear of being caught offside after curfew hours,” he said.