Zimbabwe’s only public transport utility, Zupco is being sued for failing to adequately provide public transport during the lockdown. This, the passengers say, has resulted in them flouting curfew regulations, and also exposes them to the risk of Covid-19 infection.
The Lawyer representing the passengers, Advocate Choice Damiso told ZTN that the essence of the argument is that Zupco has not been able to provide adequate buses to provide for the demand for transport by commuters in Zimbabwe.
“There is pressure for buses and pressure in terms of getting onto the bus. Commuters spend a lot of time in queues waiting for infrequent buses. When the buses do come there is no consistency with social distancing and buses are not being disinfected”, said Advocate Damiso.
The submission made by the applicant’s Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) and Combined Harare Residents Association(CHRA) states that these conditions put the commuters at greater risk of Covid-19 because they create an environment in which it is impossible to adhere to the guidelines which have been stated.
The applicants would like the court to allow an opening of the environment to allow more operators of public transport to assist Zupco in terms of providing transport for desperate citizens.
The state council argued that the limitations that have been imposed are necessary in the interests of public health and safety and the influx of human traffic is a result of violation of lockdown measures by non-essential workers.
Justice Tawanda Chitapi has reserved his judgement. The judgment will be handed down in open court on the 26th of August.