The Zimbabwe United Passengers Firm (Zupco) has not been remitting charges for the usage of designated city bus terminuses thereby depriving cash-strapped city councils of income.
Inquiries involving the nation’s 5 largest native authorities revealed that Zupco had not remitted a cent into the council coffers because it began on a three way partnership with personal bus operators final yr as required by legislation.
This comes at a time the state enterprise is at loggerheads with bus house owners it’s in partnership with following revelations they haven’t been paid their dues regardless of Zupco bosses spoiling themselves with luxurious automobiles and utilizing cash realised from the partnership to refurbish depots.
In response to the City Councils Act, Half XIV, native authorities are in command of all city routes and terminal factors of providers the place they cost month-to-month or annual charges per bus.
This has been the association with personal commuter omnibuses — however related efforts have failed Zupco.
Native authorities advised the Zimbabwe Unbiased that the reintroduction of Zupco in 2019, got here as a pilot mission and councils hoped to begin to get better revenues as soon as the mission had scaled up.
By late 2019, Zupco solely had 237 buses in 5 main cities, damaged down as follows: Harare, 145 buses; Bulawayo, 40; Mutare, 3 2; whereas Masvingo and Gweru had 10 buses every.
Nevertheless, in accordance with Zupco’s web site, the determine not too long ago elevated to 770 buses and 1 000 minibuses.
“We’ve got since tasked our administration group to strategy Zupco over this situation as a result of they haven’t remitted something since they began working. After they began, they mentioned it was a pilot mission and we hoped that we might recoup our monies as soon as they had been absolutely operational however this has not been the case,” mentioned Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi.
Nevertheless, not too long ago axed deputy mayor Kudakwashe Chisango mentioned a number of unsuccessful approaches had been made to each Zupco and Native Authorities Minister July Moyo.
Gweru Mayor and president of the City Council of Affiliation of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) Josiah Makombe mentioned whereas no formal criticism has been introduced earlier than UCAZ, Zupco had not remitted terminal charges because it was re-introduced.
“As a council we thought-about that Zupco has been out of service for years and so they have simply began working. However we’re trying into this situation as a result of, sure, they haven’t been paying (terminal charges),” mentioned Makombe.
He added that they’d reached an understanding with the bus operator to renovate their fundamental terminal — Kudzanai Rank.
Masvingo Mayor Collen Maboke additionally confirmed that Zupco had not been remitting terminal charges however hastened to level out that it was as a result of the town had no terminals.
“The rationale why Zupco has not been paying is as a result of there is no such thing as a rank for them to pay for. We’re at present establishing one and solely then would we be capable of tax them,” mentioned Maboke.
Surprisingly, Maboke mentioned they had been taxing personal kombis earlier than they had been restricted from working.
Harare spokesperson Mike Chideme referred inquiries to UCAZ whereas Bulawayo metropolis spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu requested for written questions however had not responded on the time of going to print.
Nevertheless, sources on the two massive native authorities mentioned nothing had been coming from the parastatal bus managers and so they feared a backlash from central authorities over the matter.
Zupco appearing chief govt officer Evaristo Madangwa didn’t reply to questions emailed to him.
Investigations indicated that annual terminal charges had been pegged between ZWL$200 to ZWL$500 per 18 seater minibuses whereas 75-seater buses had been charged a single passengers payment per each journey.
It couldn’t be instantly established how a lot is being charged below the newly permitted budgets.
The income generated from terminal charges can be ploughed again to renovate and keep the bus terminuses.
A survey highlighted that almost all commuters needed to endure the rains whereas queuing for Zupco buses as most terminals had been both dilapidated or had been open areas.
“We’ve got the curiosity of our metropolis dwellers at coronary heart and we’re conscious that almost all of them are being inconvenienced by the rains whereas queuing for buses. However we can not fund the renovation of our rank (Mudzviti Bus Terminus) as a result of Zupco will not be remitting terminal charges,” mentioned an official on the native authority.