Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
BUS operators are appealing to Harare City Council to open the Mbare Musika bus rank after the former’s association renovated the terminus.
The terminus was face lifted by the Zimbabwe Transport Organisation in their quest to meet health guidelines before resuming operations.
Transport operators say council is telling them that there were renovations in progress yet there was nothing occurring in the terminus.
City of Harare had left the terminus without any shelter exposing travellers to hot and wet weather yet it was charging operators’ every bus to pay US$31 for an hour despite their failure to upgrade the terminus.
Transport organisation chairperson and director of CAG buses Samson Nhanhanga said City of Harare were taking longer than expected in their quest to meet international standards for the safety of travelers and operators.
“We would like to thank government for giving us permission to resume operations and the green light was granted in July before the escalation of Covid-19,” said Nhanhanga.
“We were forced to stop and agreed to pull resources together in making sure the terminus meets international standards and health regulations set to curb spread of Covid-19.
“We managed to drill two boreholes and erect iron poles in an effort to allow travellers to use entrances where they would be sanitized and have temperature checked in line with Covid-19 guidelines.
“City of Harare indicated to us that they had no funds that is why we gave a hand since we wanted to operate and make sure we clear our debts but the lackadaisical approach being exercised by City of Harare is negatively affecting them as well as us.
“We refused to be charged US$31 as ranking charges per hour for each bus and they promised to review that figure but the time they are taking is too long leaving us to operate outside the terminus.
“As bus operators we assist to a certain level and leave the other part to be carried by the City fathers like that of electrifying the terminus for the smooth operation of the drilled boreholes.
“Varikugarira mapepa vachizvishaisa revenue isuwo tichisaririra kuwana mari yekuti tikwanise kuramba tichiita basa redu rekusvitsa vanhu kwavanoenda uye mabhazi edu asina ngura uye akasimba,” said Nhanhanga.
He said the organization also worked on the ablution facilities which he said had forced some travellers to abandon the terminus and found at illegal loading points where they are exposed to touts and thieves.
“Mbare terminus is now clean and we worked on the dilapidated toilets which we believed had been posing health hazards to travellers with some looking for alternative points for transport,” said Nhanhanga.
“The new look Mbare terminus has four entrances giving security to travellers and minimizing dangers of thieves and robbers at the place.
“We are appealing to City of Harare to speed up with documents needed after they indicated to us that they are reviewing the rank charges down to US$15 or equivalent as well as putting shelter and electricity for it to meet international standards.
“Rank haidi kungoti afunga kungopinda nelorry yake otakura vanhu, afunga kudimburira nepaanoda achipinda pa rank ongoita kwete.
“We thank government for efforts made in curbing the spread of Covid-19 and this is the time for transport operators to be on roads observing measures set in fighting the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
In a public notice by the City of Harare, travellers have been urged to use alternative pick up and drop off points to various destinations saying Mbare Musika Bus terminus was closed for renovations.
“The City of Harare wishes to inform the public that Mbare Musika bus terminus is currently closed for renovations.
“Council has designated temporary pick up and drop off points for intercity travel, reads part of the notice.
Temporary points mentioned includes Simon Vengai Muzenda Street, Coventry Holding Bay, Mbudzi Car Park and Machipisa terminus.