Source: Kombi operators reach out to Govt | The Herald June 1, 2019
Leroy Dzenga Herald Correspondent
Kombi operators have reached out to the Government seeking a special diesel allocation to allow them to continue providing affordable service to commuters.
Kombi operators have in the past days been struggling to compete with the low fares being charged by ZUPCO and fuel shortages have not aided their cause.
ZUPCO buses are charging 50 cents on many routes while kombis are varying between $2 and $6.
The Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) met the Minister of Energy and Power Development Fortune Chasi on Thursday, seeking a special facilitation for specific service stations to be set aside to service kombis.
GHACO Secretary General Ngoni Katsvairo said fuel is a key cost driver and the time lost trying to secure it is contributing to the fares.
“We came here to ask Government for assistance to access diesel easily so we can serve commuters. If there could be a few service stations set aside for registered kombis, it would improve the transport situation in the country,” Mr Katsvairo said.
Kombi operators also said they are ready to work under the ZUPCO franchise if Government needs more vehicles to service the public in a uniform manner.
In response to their requests, Minister Chasi said although his office cannot instruct service stations to exclusively serve kombis, he is ready to assist if the operators reach an agreement with a fuel retailer.
“Although it is not within our power to see that service stations serve kombis only. We can provide the necessary support if operators reach an agreement with fuel sellers,” Min Chasi said.
“My ministry cannot facilitate fuel subsidies, but kombi operators can approach the Ministry of Finance with a concept note and argue their case. I am sure they will be granted an audience,” Minister Chasi added.