Obert Mpofu to ban Kombis – The Sunday Mail

via OBERT MPOFU TO BAN KOMBIS – The Sunday Mail by lincon (sic) towindo | Sunday, Jun 1, 2014

The Government has begun the process of phasing out urban commuter omnibuses in line with comprehensive plans to decongest major cities as well as create a modern and affordable transport system. Work is also underway to reduce import duty on bicycles to encourage Zimbabweans to embrace transport modes that use road space economically.

In addition, a ring road, running around central Harare, will be constructed to detour heavy vehicles and large volumes of travellers away from the Central Business District. Several companies are reported to have already submitted bids for the ring road project, which is set to begin at the end of this year.

The measures, contained in the National Transport Policy, will be implemented over the next two years.
Under the new arrangement, high-volume buses operated by a limited number of private players will replace commuter omnibuses.
The operators, who will be identified by Government, are expected to service designated routes.

One such operator, Metro Buses, has already been commissioned to participate in a pilot project of the new system.
In essence, commuter omnibuses will suffer the same fate as the once-popular Peugeot 404s and 504s that used to ply intra-city routes.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu told The Sunday Mail that traffic congestion will be among the top items on this week’s Cabinet agenda.

The new system, said the minister, will significantly reduce bus fares and largely affect commuter omnibuses with a carrying capacity of less than 26.

Over 4 550 individuals are registered as commuter omnibus owners in the capital, according to the City of Harare Department of Urban Planning report of 2012.

“As Government, we are working on a raft of measures to address the transport chaos, especially in cities such as Harare. One of the steps we will be taking will include decongesting the CBD by restricting the entrance of big vehicles,” said Dr Mpofu.

“The ring road we intend to construct will filter transport that should not enter the CBD. A number of bidders have since applied for the contract and we will let due process take its course.

“A lot of cars in the CBD are not even supposed to be there. Another method involves introducing high-volume buses which are cheaper and cost a quarter of what the kombis are charging.”

Traffic congestion in major cities, especially Harare, has caused headaches to both residents and authorities.
In the capital, the problem has been directly linked to expanding vehicle numbers, including commuter omnibuses which became the main mode of mass transport after the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company failed to cope.

It is also a result of huge traffic volumes that cut through the city centre from major trunk roads such as the Harare-Mutare-Beira; Harare-Chirundu; Harare-Nyamapanda; Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge and Harare-Bulawayo.

According to the National Transport Policy, the design of most roads in the urban areas does not conform to the rapid increase in traffic volumes.  The policy states that other road-related problems include inadequate parking spaces, lack of maintenance and room for future expansion, vandalised or lack of proper shelters and lighting at bus stops and bus termini as well as inadequate facilities for non-motorised traffic and pedestrian lanes. It also proposes that Government should develop by-passes, ring roads and truck inns in major urban areas to cater for through traffic as an alternative to radial roads that start from the CBD. The policy advocates, “Promoting the use of high capacity transport modes such as trains/articulated buses which are economic and efficiently use road space and gradually phasing out kombis and minibuses with a capacity less than 26 seats;

“Improving traffic flow and turn-around of public vehicles by preventing heavy vehicles from traversing the CBD and towing away improperly parked vehicles; promoting car sharing and segregating and conforming bus transport to selected routes/lanes to speed up traffic flow and vehicle turn around.



  • comment-avatar

    First of all, nothing should be done to alter the present balance until the ring road is operational. Otherwise commuters will suffer.

    Secondly, how many legal and illegal stands will have to be demolished to construct the road? Will those people be relocated and compensated?

    Third, I smell a rat when Mpofu says he wants to outlaw kombis and replace them with select bus operators. That means that a handful of bus companies will be controlled by a single minister who will probably demand a large kickback to allow them to operate. Rather then outlawing kombis, why not just let the marketplace determine the winners? If a commuter can choose between a bus and a kombi, it will come down to which service is cheapest and most efficient. If buses are not stopped at roadblocks, perhaps that will make a difference?

    This whole scheme is vintage ZANU-PF whereby they try to regulate a segment if the economy and end up killing it off – and the people are the ones who both pay for it AND suffer from the loss of the service.

    Sounds like they need to do a re-think and listen to the other stakeholders before they make any drastic changes.

  • comment-avatar
    zanupf fear me 8 years ago

    Nothing about zanupf surprises me anymore. This is a great looting idea. Will the ring road have potholes? Its taken 15 years to implement the dual carriage way to Norton n Beatrice n ruwa as well as the laughable new lands bypass. They gave yet to be completed !!!!!!! Give us loans instead to buy mercs n hideous 4×4 junk. What happened to the Chinese / north Korean Cuban built chitungwiza rail transit. I remember 1995 that witless mangwende laying a foundation stone n cutting ribbons at tat st Marys venue amongst much pomp ceremony pompous puffed up grandeur !!!!!!!??? Kikiki

    • comment-avatar
      mark longhurst 8 years ago

      more irrelevant rhetoric from a minister struggling to find releveance for even being in the job, this won’t happen, where’s the money, brains, or management needed to do this , Zanu are now becoming the best comedians in the country !!!

      • comment-avatar
        roving ambassador. 8 years ago

        Definitely nothing will happen . Its just Zanu tactic to fool us into believing they are doing something. They cannot fix the existing roads, water and electricity so forget about this pie in the sky idea.
        Zanu must just go.

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 8 years ago

    alternative options! poor planners!!!!!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Chaka 8 years ago

    And there is the cost involved. Soon Obert will be saying ‘delay is due to no funding’ as chinamasa always comes back empty handed.

  • comment-avatar
    wenafela 8 years ago

    Good idea but bad intentions. All who can afford buses should be allowed to venture into the business or assisted to form private limited companies.

  • comment-avatar

    But they have no money, it cost money to import coaches it costs money to build a ring road ( and to purchase the land to build it on) and this from a bunch of goons who can’t afford to pay even the civil servants on time.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Obert should be riding his bicycle out of office to hell via his ring road

  • comment-avatar
    Tinomunamataishe 8 years ago

    Bicycles are the kind of things that can be manufactured in Zim. Making them in Zimbabwe will create jobs and make them cheaper and affordable. I cannot see why they have to imported ostensibly from China.

    I don’t like the idea of advocating bicycles when the roads are not cyclist safe. A lot of people will be killed on the roads as a result. Make the roads cyclist safe, take a look at Amsterdam, for example.

    At the end of all this the problem will once again be corruption and patronage. The people who will win the tenders are the ones connected to the politicians and not the most capable ones with the best bid. Anyone remembers the airport road?

  • comment-avatar
    Senzachena 8 years ago

    Obert is living in la la land, trying to justify his existance. There is no money it will never happen. Zanu TRASH

  • comment-avatar

    Simply not going to happen. Too many senior ZPF chef’s own and run combi’s.

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    start by planning the ring roads in all towns and city’s and claim back the stands that will be blocking this development, then best leave the implementation to the next more competent govt.

  • comment-avatar
    jones peter 8 years ago

    This is madness at its worst. Obert concerntrate on upgrading roads

  • comment-avatar
    Kitsi-yatota 8 years ago

    the biggest brains of Zimbabwe have spoken, but the problem is lack of synchrosination of the road policy of mpofu to the budget provided by chinamasa. you have failed to repair the highways in 34 years, now it will take only 2 years to ring-road harare cbd. Mbuya nehanda ne sekuru Chaminuka vazorangarira vazukuru vavo zvino

  • comment-avatar
    changamire Dombo 8 years ago

    obert mpofu is the owner of Bravo coaches. now he wants to monpolise transport systems in urban areas. He is facing stiff competition to joburg now he wants to go local with his buses. indirectly , he will play the role that zupco used to play except that this would be a private company monopolising urban transport. This corruption stinks

  • comment-avatar
    gorongoza 8 years ago

    Cnat even finish a 20km stretch from airport to town in 15 years, and now you talk of ring road etc? Do you zanu pple ever stop from daydreaming? the govt cant even pay civil servants, is averse to PPPs because they love the glory (even when they cant finish a 20km stretch in 15yrs)…so how do they move?

  • comment-avatar
    Ndaneta ndaneta 8 years ago

    DL, you are missing one point here. Why can’t we contribute positively to developmental initiatives that seek to enhance the quality of our cities. Certainly, market forces won’t work here if we want to get rid of traffic congestion and such other like madness. Why can’t we learn from already developed transport systems such as those in other countries that have managed to get through similar problems?

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    ooh ooh Obert has something up his sleeve he must want his company to take over- the shopping complex is not good enough for him

  • comment-avatar
    Mupurisa 8 years ago

    Obert Mpofu is just trying to create himself another cash cow for himself since he is no longer in charge of the mines ministry. Only this time he is going to realize that to pull this one off, some planning and capital are but just some of the essential requirements to make it work. Capability, integrity and hard work are also ofcourse also essential ingredients to make it work. This wont be as easy as beating, killing and chasing people out of Marange, and looting millions of dollars of diamonds! Heh, in ZANU PF, there is no one that possesses any of the qualities that will turn this pipe dream into reality. They are only professional thieves, murderers and election riggers! Pane nyaya iyi tichaona nhamo chete!!

  • comment-avatar
    tawanda 8 years ago

    ‘Dr’ Mpofu. Yeah,right.

  • comment-avatar
    Patriotic 8 years ago

    This will be a great idea if ever it is going to implemented. I totally agree with the banning of the Kombis and introducing larger conventional buses which can be traced if ever anything happens to the commuter. The commuters are vulnerable with these kombis these days, so many stories about these kombis robbing, killing commuters. If only this plan would work then that will be one step in the right direction. To say ZUPCO could not cope is improper. Is ZUPCO there at all. I dont know when last I saw a ZUPCO bus. Am I the only one?

  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 8 years ago

    I would suggest Tarzan style vines as a better alternative but then I remembered all the trees have been cut down

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    cannot even run an Airline ho ho ho

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    Zupco was very well organised until the person at the top Mr. Bryce was stabbed and died while chasing a thug who was stealing a ladies bag – after his demise things started to take a down turn- it was one of the best Public transport in the whole of the southern african region

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    and it was these politicians that started the Kombi thing

  • comment-avatar

    At the end of it..and the end of it is more certain now..
    mumwe nemumwe wenyu vana Obert imi achamira nezvake..
    kungwara kwenyu kwenhema uku tichakuona.

  • comment-avatar
    banda winly 7 years ago

    So then create employment for omnibus drivers n conductors