Monday, 9 February 2015

Council moves to ban of all kombis

Oswell Moyo Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council will by March ban all commuter omnibuses which are not registered with either the Bulawayo Public Transport Association or Tshova Mubaiwa but the government yesterday condemned the proposal as illegal.Mayor, Councillor Martin Moyo said all kombis plying western and eastern routes who are not affiliates of either the Bupta or Tshova Mubaiwa risk being pushed out of business as from next month.

“We want accountability in the transport sector and kombi operators that haven’t joined Bupta or Tshova Mubaiwa risk losing their route permits.

“If you don’t belong to these two companies, please don’t talk to us.  We’re the authority that issues permits. This   policy will be implemented next month,” said Clr Moyo.
 Council moves to ban of all kombis
He said registering kombis with either of the two public transport companies will help curb the rampant abuse of passengers and flouting of traffic regulations by kombi crews.

“We can’t continue operating without order. They’ve to grow their business by joining Bupta or Tshova Mubaiwa so as to enjoy the benefits of economies of scale.

“We’re having problems enforcing our by-laws because of multiplicity of kombi operators. There’s no order but if there are two companies, it’ll be easy to weed out unruly behaviour,” he said.

The decision to force kombi operators to be members of either Bupta or Tshova Mubaiwa, follows the signing of a public transport policy agreement between the city fathers, public transporters and other interested parties on October 3, 2012.

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Obert Mpofu, said he was yet to receive a report on the proposed move.

He, however, said it was illegal for the local authority to force kombi operators to join the two companies.

“We haven’t received the report from the local authority but there’s a procedure that they’re supposed to follow. Membership to professional organisations must be voluntary because we don’t want discrimination,” said Minister Mpofu.

A prominent lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity said council’s proposal to ban non-compliant kombis was illegal.

“It’s against the Constitution of Zimbabwe to force people to trade under one name. This might be a positive move in terms of instilling discipline and order but you can’t just wake up and start forcing people to trade under one name. Our constitution guarantees freedom of trade and association. The council can’t infringe our rights. At the moment we don’t have any legal framework supporting the notion,” said the lawyer.

Bupta secretary-general, Albert Ncube, said 330 kombi operators have so far joined his union out of about 1,000.

“The branding is very slow but the majority of kombi operators have shown willingness to join,” said Ncube.

According to the transport policy, all drivers and conductors (owindi) will be required to undergo training in public relations.

“We envisage a complete change in the behaviour and attitude of all operators, drivers and conductors,” reads part of the policy statement. Chronicles
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