AT least 294 privately-owned buses and kombis recently cleared by the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) will now join the Zupco franchise.
CMED in the past week inspected 326 buses and kombis and 294 passed the test. In addition, 221 drivers were also tested and 197 of them passed.
More kombi and bus owners are expected to bring their vehicles to CMED for tests as Zupco continues to accept applications.
Under new Government policy, only Zupco and those franchised by Zupco can provide public transport.
CMED managing director Mr Davison Mhaka said the process was ongoing and more buses were still being brought for inspection.
“We are encouraging operators to come with their buses and kombis for inspection,” he said.
He said the buses and commuter omnibuses that failed the inspection were taken for repairs and will be inspected again.
Zupco acting chief executive, Mr Everisto Madangwa said the 294 buses and kombis were new entries into their fleet.
“We want to urge others to come and join so that we boost our fleet.
“We are not punishing anyone, but these are measures to safeguard the customers or passengers we are ferrying.
“They all have to go through the same process of having their buses inspected and drivers tested,” Mr Madangwa said.
Mr Mhaka said drivers were tested through the CMED driving school Easy Go.
He reiterated that CMED was setting up a toll free number to report drivers’ misbehaviour on the roads.
The numbers will be displayed on the buses and all those who misbehave will be withdrawn.