The Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) is in the process of rebuilding “robust DAF 825 bus suitable for all terrain for its reintroduction on the unsurfaced routes in the rural areas,” Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo has said.
Speaking during the question and answer session in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Moyo said buses will soon be allocated to ply areas with dusty feeder roads.
He was responding to Masvingo South Member of Parliament (MP) Claudious Maronge who questioned Government interventions regarding the allocation of buses to ply areas with dusty feeder roads in Masvingo.
“Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is in the process of rebuilding the robust DAF 825 bus suitable for all terrain for its reintroduction on the unsurfaced routes in the rural areas,” Moyo said.
“The reintroduction of the bus is scheduled for the beginning of November, 2020. Currently, the fleet that is available is suitable for tarred roads only.”
Turning to the state of the roads, Moyo said there are three road authorities in Zimbabwe namely; Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development – for primary or trunk roads, the District Development Fund – for tertiary or link roads and the local authorities – for tertiary access or tertiary feeder roads.
“The access roads that Hon. Maronge is asking for fall under the jurisdiction of the local authority and in this case, Masvingo Rural District Council. It must be noted that due to various challenges, road authorities have not managed to regularly maintain their respective roads,” Moyo said.
“The local authority thus has taken it upon itself to maintain all roads in the district including those that are under the care of the District Development Fund (DDF) and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, albeit with limited resources (one motorised grader and fuel shortages).”
He continued: “The reason for grading all the roads being that, one cannot fly to an access road but has to pass through primary or trunk and tertiary-link roads that need maintenance. The single grader that Masvingo Rural District Council has was on breakdown and is scheduled to start grading a tertiary (main link) road – Bhati-Ngomahuru Road in Wards 21 and 34, which is under Masvingo Central Constituency. It will then go to all wards in Masvingo South. This is subject to availability of fuel since most fuel suppliers are not accepting local currency (ZW$) yet ZINARA disbursed funds to local authorities in local currency.”