GOVERNMENT has given commuter omnibuses the nod to start operating but they have to register with relevant authorities and also strictly comply with Covid-19 health guidelines.
The kombis among other public transporters excluding pirate taxis, can approach the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development for licences to start operating. Kombis had been banned from operating since the start of the national lockdown at the end of March except for those operating under Zupco.
Addressing journalists during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also the chairperson of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on the Covid-19 said once kombis regularise their operations they will be allowed to start operating.
She said Cabinet took the decision after considering that Covid-19 cases were relatively declining in the country.
“Originally, every private operator who wanted to operate had to register with Zupco but we realise that Zupco also has some challenges. There are now new players in the economy hence the need to open up the transport sector especially the inter-city transport,” she said.
“Those that are legal including kombis, will be required to register with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development and comply with the rules and regulations.” Minister Kashiri said some kombis were not roadworthy and as such could not regularise their operations.
She said Government is prepared to listen to genuine kombi operators but will not tolerate pirate taxis commonly known as mshikashika. Kombi operators in Bulawayo welcomed the Government’s decision to allow them to resume operations.