Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter
Harare City Council has closed the country’s busiest long-distance bus terminus at Mbare Musika indefinitely to pave way for renovations following the return of intercity buses.
Long distance buses had been picking up passengers along Remembrance Drive adjacent to the terminus as they were not being allowed into the terminus save for the ones contracted to Zupco.
The city has since designated alternative pick-up points at Mbudzi Complex Car Park, Machipisa bus terminus, Simon Muzenda (formerly 4th street) terminus and Coventry Road Holding Bay.
In a statement issued yesterday, city authorities said the Mbudzi Complex Car Park and Machipisa terminus Travellers will cater for people travelling to Masvingo, Chiredzi and Beitbridge while those going to Mutare, Mutoko, Murewa and Goromonzi will use Simon Muzenda (formerly 4th street) terminus and those travelling to Bulawayo, Mt Darwin, Bindura, Chiweshe, Shamva and Chinhoyi will use the Coventry Road Holding Bay.
Renovation of the Mbare Musika bus terminus only started recently despite the city having had a window of about six months in which the terminus was vacant due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown where travel was restricted.
So far, the city and its partners have completed the construction of a palisade fence around the terminus while drilling of boreholes to ensure sufficient water supply is ongoing.
The fence is meant to control movement into and out of the terminus and also plug revenue leakages since buses will now use an entrance and exit manned by council officials and to ensure the monitoring of bus crews, who are supposed to produce valid Covid-19 certificate showing they tested negative for the disease.
In an interview yesterday, Harare spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said they wanted to erect sheds for passengers, boom gates and ablution facilities.
He, however, could not indicate how long the terminus would be closed. Mr Chideme said only buses with Covid-19 compliance permits will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the alternative pick-up points.
“We urge travellers and bus operators to comply and take due care to maintain orderliness and the safety of the public travelling public,” he said.