THIRTY conventional buses were inspected and 24 certified fit by the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) in Harare yesterday following the recent invitation by Government for private commuter omnibus operators to join the Zupco franchise if they want to operate during the lockdown period and beyond.
The exercise is also being conducted in some parts of the country.
Government is urging private operators to bring their buses and drivers.
The buses should have certificates of fitness from the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), passenger insurance and vehicle insurance, while drivers should have a valid Class 2 driver’s licence, a defensive driving certificate and a medical certificate.
Those interested in joining the Zupco franchise should take their vehicles for vetting at the nearest depot.
CMED managing director Mr Davison Mhaka confirmed the development, saying six buses failed the test.
The six have since been taken for repairs and will be inspected again.
Today, CMED will be inspecting kombis.
“We are also testing drivers through our driving school Easy Go, checking on their driver’s licences, defensive driving certificates and medical certificates,” he said.
Mr Mhaka said they wanted drivers who comply with traffic rules and regulations.
“We are also going to set up a tollfree number where people will phone through and report the behaviour of drivers. The numbers will be on these buses and all those who misbehave will be withdrawn,” he said.
Last week, Zupco said it was bringing its 500 franchised kombis back into operation.
Since all formal sector businesses were allowed to reopen last Monday after lockdown movement restrictions were relaxed, Zupco has been battling to move commuters to and from work, with people having to wait for several hours forcing some to breach safety and lockdown rules by riding on trucks.