Zupco monopoly challenge still to be heard 

Source: Zupco monopoly challenge still to be heard – NewsDay Zimbabwe


APPLICANTS who challenged the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) monopoly are riled that the matter is still to be set down six months after the High Court was ordered to readmit it.

In their application, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association (ZCIEA), Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (Paz) and Constantine Chaza, represented by Tendai Biti of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), argued that the ban on informal sector trading as well as private commuter omnibuses was illegal.

On March 12 2021, Supreme Court Judges faulted Justice Mary Zimba-Dube for misdirecting herself when she dismissed the application and ordered that the matter be remitted to the High Court and be heard by a different Judge.

But six months down the line, the Registrar of the High Court is still to allocate the case for set down.

On Tuesday the ZLHR said it has for the past six months been waiting for the Registrar of the High Court to set down the Zupco monopoly case as directed by the Supreme Court.

In their application, which was filed in 2020, ZCIE, PAZ and Chaza argued that the imposition of national lockdown regulations and the ban on informal sector trading imposed by the government which included a ban on private commuter omnibuses was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

They also argued that the ban created an unlawful monopoly for Zupco.

“ZCIEA, PAZ and Chaza want some registered transport operators and other operators to be allowed to ferry passengers on their licenced routes subject to compliance with relevant national lockdown conditions such as social distancing, temperature testing and the use of hand sanitisers,” ZLHR said.

In her judgment issued on May 26, 2020, Justice Zimba-Dube dismissed ZCIEA, PAZ and Chaza’s application after ruling that there was no discrimination against private commuter omnibus as they could operate under Zupco and that opening the informal sector could fuel the spread of coronavirus.