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More buses arrive from China

by Staff reporter
02 Nov 2020 at 05:44hrs | Views
FIFTY more Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses imported from China have arrived in the country as part of Government's efforts to restore sanity in the public transport sector and provide affordable transport.

In the last 12 months, Government has imported over 300 conventional buses from China and Belarus.

The latest batch of 50 Golden Dragon buses imported from China arrived in the country via Beitbridge on Saturday evening and yesterday morning. The 50-seater buses were shipped in through the Durban port in South Africa.

The actual cost of each bus could not be established immediately, but estimates are that each of them is sold at around US$50 000 in China.

The consignment comes a few months after Government took delivery of 70 more buses from China. It is understood that the vehicles are part of the fruits being realised following agreements signed during President Mnangagwa's visit to China in April 2018.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza was not available for comment yesterday and Zupco's Acting Chief Executive officer, Mr Everisto Madangwa said he will give more details regarding the importation of the buses in due course. However, border sources said the buses will continue to come in batches via Durban, South Africa.

"So far we have 50 buses within the border and the import documents are being processed by a customs clearing company contracted by the Government," said an official.

Chronicle understands that more than 1 000 buses have been acquired from China and they are being delivered to the country in batches. President Mnangagwa has stressed Government's commitment to ease transport challenges by availing reliable and affordable transport to the people in line with Vision 2030.

There are continuous requests by communities and traditional leaders for more Zupco buses to service areas which have not been fully covered by private transporters. As part of Government's moves to provide affordable transport and further ease transport challenges, Bulawayo residents will from today be able to access the National Railways of Zimbabwe urban commuter train which was suspended in March following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Commuters will be charged $16 per trip on the City-Cowdray Park route and the re-introduced City-Emganwini route.

The development is likely to stem transport shortages as the phased schools reopening that started last month unfolds. NRZ public relations manager Mr Nyasha Maravanyika yesterday said all was set and the parastatal has secured personal protective clothing for staff who will be disinfecting the coaches to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

"Everything is set for tomorrow and we are confident that the services will resume as planned. We are going to review the service on Thursday and see if residents are complying with measures put in place and check if the service is running smoothly," said Mr Maravanyika.

Train users will have the added advantage of paying using EcoCash, swipe and cash. Mr Maravanyika said the City-Emganwini train will leave Khami at 6AM and arrive at the Bulawayo Station at 6.50AM.

"For the evening run, it will leave Bulawayo Station at 5.20PM arriving at Khami at 6.20pm. The return trip leaves Khami at 6.45PM and arrives in the city at 7.15PM," he said.

"The morning service to Cowdray Park leaves Bulawayo Station at 4.10AM and arrives at Pasi Pasi at 5.25AM. It leaves for the city at 5.45AM arriving at Bulawayo Station at 7AM."

Mr Maravanyika said in the evening, the train will leave Bulawayo Station at 5.30PM and arrive at 6.45PM at Pasi Pasi.

"It departs Pasi Pasi at 7.05PM and arrives at Bulawayo Station at 8.40PM. The commuter train service will run from Monday to Friday and there will be no service during weekends and public holidays."

Source - chroncile