February 17, 2020

65 More buses arrive from China

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Thupeyo Muleya

The government has intensified efforts to recapitalize the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company as it moves to restore sanity in the public transport sector through the importation of conventional buses from Belarus and China.

The latest consigned of 65 buses arrived at Beitbridge Border Post at the weekend where authorities are finalizing the importation formalities.

By the end of the day yesterday the 20 Golden Dragon buses had arrived on the Zimbabwean component of the border, while others were expected late last night.

The consignment comes a few months after the Government took receipt of 70 more buses from China.

It is understood that the imports are fruits of agreements signed during President Mnangagwa’s visit to the Asian country a few months ago.

However, the Ministers of Transport, Joel Matiza and that of Local Government were both not available for comment yesterday.

The actual cost of each bus could not be readily verified, but each bus is sold at over us$17 000 in China.

According to border sources, the contingent of buses had been shipped via Durban, South Africa.

“The buses are coming in batches and currently import documents of 65 buses are being processed by a customs clearing company contracted by the Government,” said a border official.

The Herald understands that more than 1 000 buses have been acquired from China and they are being delivered to the country in batches.

President Mnangagwa has since reaffirmed Government’s commitment to ease transport challenges by availing reliable and affordable transport to the people in line with Vision 2030.

During a recent address while commissioning another batch of Zupco buses, the Head of State said; “My Government will continue to prioritize comprehensive urban public transport systems to increase convenience, reliability, and comfort with the commuting public.

“In order to improve the transport service as I have said today, we are releasing more buses and the distribution will be announced by Zupco.

“Some are still at the port and some are still at the border but because of the challenges being faced by our population, both urban and rural, in particular the working population, we have decided to release the buses whenever they arrive so that we ameliorate the challenges of transport system”.

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