GOVERNMENT has been urged to assemble buses locally in order to curb externalisation of foreign currency by manufacturers.
BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
This was said yesterday by Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) president Tafadzwa Goliati in an interview with NewsDay.
Goliati said assembling of buses locally would create employment for locals.
Recently, the government received 50 buses from China to boost the Zupco fleet.
In the last 12 months, the government imported over 300 buses from China and Belarus to boost the Zupco fleet which had aged.
“We are at pains seeing what is currently happening whereby the government is importing buses from China and Belarus using a lot of foreign currency instead of asking those companies to open assembling factories for buses in Zimbabwe which will be very cheap,” Goliati said.
“This idea of local assembling of buses is being implemented by African countries like Ghana, Kenya and others. This will create employment for the youth. They will learn how assembling is done and this will improve our nation,” he said.
Goliati said countries like China managed to develop because they were able to attract external companies to open factories to assemble buses.
“The idea of having assembling companies in the country has proven well in other countries and it is high time that we do the same as a country. In China there are so many companies which are into manufacturing and as a nation we should do the same and stop importing everything.”
PAZ recently condemned the state of most conventional buses operating under the Zupco franchise. They described them as unroadworthy, adding that they were death traps for the commuting public.
As commuter omnibus operators kept hiking fares, government decided to rope in the Zupco conventional buses to provide cheaper urban public transport.
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