Public transporters in Bulawayo have withdrawn kombis from the road in protests against fuel price hikes and what they termed unfair competition from government Zupco buses.
According to a statement attributed to the three biggest transport associations in the city, the business is no longer economically viable.
Thousands of commuters city-wide were this morning stranded as only a handful of kombis were on the road.
“As BUPTA, Tshova Mubaiwa and BCT, we have unanimously agreed on downing tools and suspending operations with effect from wednesday 22 May 2019.
“We cannot afford to offer service to commuters anymore with no returns. The operating environment is no longer sustainable. Owners park your vehicles. Let no kombi ferry people to town from Wednesday until we also operate in a business friendly environment. Let us for now give space to the ZUPCOs and see if they will manage all routes on their own.
“Kombi fare was 50c from 2009 to 2018 in Bulawayo, nearly 10 years. If we do not act we will lose these vehicles. We will fail to service them. We are suffering and we must be heard. Let us help each other find lasting solutions. We have suffered. It is enough,” read the statement.
It is not yet clear if the strike is national but one thing for sure is that Zupco buses cannot service all routes on their own without kombis.
However some associations have denied that it is a strike saying they just cannot afford fuel.
More to follow…