Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter
Mbare Musika long-distance bus terminus is being secured and upgraded after the Government last week approved the resumption of intercity travel.
Harare City Council has started erecting a palisade fence and drilling boreholes at the terminus, which has over the years suffered from neglect despite the city continuing to collect fees from bus operators.
In an interview yesterday, council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the fence will help control movement into and out of the terminus and also plug revenue leakages since buses will now use an entrance and an exit manned by council officials.
The upgrade, he said, will also make it easy for monitoring bus crews, including drivers, conductors and loaders, so that they are not allowed into the bus terminus before they produce a certificate showing they tested negative for Covid-19.
“Buses will not be allowed to enter without displaying a thermometer, disinfecting gadgets and sanitisers and bus companies are now required to keep registers of visitors, sanitise passengers and disinfect their buses after every trip,” he said.
When The Herald visited Mbare Musika yesterday there was notable progress with workmen busy erecting the fence with a part stretching for about 500 metres having already been completed.
Drilling of boreholes to provide the water for washing of buses and to help passengers keep clean has also started.
The contracted firm erecting the fence is expected to finish the works within two weeks.
Mr Chideme said the council was hoping to do similar upgrades at other terminuses and markets in line with their agenda to turn Harare into a smart city.
“We are putting palisade fence so that we can control the movement of buses when coming in and out so that council begins to get revenue,” he said.
Mr Chideme said all illegal structures inside the new palisade fence are being removed and owners have since been notified to voluntarily remove their property before the city demolishes them.
The Government had banned intercity travel as part of containment measures to tackle Covid-19.
Travel was seen as a danger, allowing infection to spread from areas already hit by Covid-19 to areas that were still safe, as well as opening passengers to risk of infection by sitting in closed quarters for hours.