MORE than 500 buses are expected in the country with a special consignment set to go to schools as President Mnangagwa continues to implement measures that will improve the public transport system through development that leaves no one behind.
Upgrading the public transport services is at the core of the Second Republic which consistently listens to the needs of the people and provides solutions.
Since coming to power, President Mnangagwa has made it his priority to secure buses for the State-owned Zupco and the company, which was almost comatose before the inception of the Second Republic, has reawakened with its fleet increasing over the past three years.
Just a fortnight ago, President Mnangagwa commissioned a fleet of 115 buses, and 15 of those were yesterday handed to the country’s security services, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Parliament.
Speaking after handing over the buses to various Government departments at State House the President said the buses represent his Government’s promise to be a listening administration that responds to the needs of its people.
“These buses are coming because as a listening President we always respond to the needs of the people,” the President said.
Of the 15 buses, eight went to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Air Force and the Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, while five were allocated to the JSC, with Parliament getting two.
“This allocation of buses, it’s not adequate but we continue, brick upon brick to build our country. Each time we have a consignment coming in, we will give it to you until we feel that you have adequate buses to fill your institutions.
“We may want to have these buses at one go but it is impossible. What is critically important is that you can see that the Government is doing its best to meet your requirements with regards to the issue of transport,” the President said.
Responding to requests from service chiefs for buses to transport school children at various schools that are run by the security establishment, the President said he will consider buying smaller buses, specifically for school children.
“On the question of going to school, I had not been told about that but now I know. As we order more buses, I will put that into consideration. They need smaller buses, in our next consignment, we still expect more than 500 buses, so among those, I may change 50 to give to institutions for school children,” he said.
The buses that were handed over yesterday will among other things ensure that the Zimbabwe Prison Services, which had challenges transporting inmates to courts, is capacitated while a request by Parliament to have two more buses was instantaneously fulfilled by the President.
“We also gave to Parliament, we gave them two, they want four, so from the next consignment we will give them the other two,” he said.
Zimbabwe is making strides towards attaining Vision 2030 to become an upper middle-class economy and infrastructure development is one of the pillars towards achieving that goal.
With roads being upgraded or constructed the public transport system is expected to operate at the highest level of efficiency in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision for a modern, highly integrated multi-modal transport that can facilitate economic growth and development of the social sectors.
In the last two years, the Government has acquired more than 400 buses that have been distributed around the country and, because of their efficiency and pricing, are the choice form of transport for travellers and commuters.
Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda, and service chiefs attended the handover ceremony.