Is it ZUPCO’s mandate to exempt buses and taxis? 

The Claim: In an article published on its Monday edition, The Chronicle claimed that the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has exempted rural buses and urban taxis.
The Verdict: claim verdict

Claim: In an article published in its Monday edition, The Chronicle claimed that the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has exempted rural buses and urban taxis. 

“Commuter buses and kombis plying rural routes including metered taxis operating in urban centres are allowed to operate without registering under the ZUPCO franchise or going through the Central Mechanical and Engineering Department (CMED) as long as they are licensed to operate.” 

This comes after government banned privately owned commuter omnibuses and buses from plying both urban and rural routes unless they registered their vehicles under the ZUPCO franchise.

ZUPCO is wholly owned by the government and according to media reports was looking for private investors to take up a 49 percent stake.

CITE reached out to both ZUPCO and government officials to seek clarification if it was ZUPCO’s mandate to issue exemptions on certain routes.

ZUPCO Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Sikhanyisiwe Ncube said the franchise only followed the guidelines from the Government. 

“No, we only follow the guidance from the Government, what we do is we open up to a franchise system, we call private operators and other operators to join us through a franchise system,” she said. 

“Thus, why you see when they join, for example in Bulawayo,  Tshova Mbaiwa will operate under ZUPCO. Our linkage with private operators is when they are in our franchise system, we link them when we have signed a contract,” said Ncube. 

Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Felix Mhona said  ZUPCO falls under local governance.

Speaking at Parliament last week Wednesday, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said commuter omnibuses and buses which ply rural routes do not need to go to the Central Mechanic and Engineering Department (CMED) or register with ZUPCO, they will use operating licences issued by the transport ministry.  

The exemption is issued by the government and not ZUPCO.

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