With the high cost of living in Zimbabwe owing to inflation pressures, the general populace has been subjected to long ques, elicit pressures and all the struggles which come in boarding the cheapest mode of transport.
The general populace has tested the struggles of cheap transport in trying to sustain their way of living, fighting against the local currency which keeps losing value, low salaries that can not meet the ever-increasing prices of basic commodities.
Basically there is abject poverty living no room for a better alternative mode of transport but, rather the famous Zimbabwe United Passengers Company ( ZUPCO).
Private omnibuses had been the most popular mode of transport for Zimbabweans, but the fares due to fuel price hikes made the transport system unaffordable.
This led the government to re-introduce lower-cost Zupco bus service in January 2019, in conjunction with private partners, following the January 14 protests over fuel price hikes.
The return of Zupco buses relieved the general populace whose incomes were not proportional enough to meet the cost of living.
In October 2019 the government went on further to franchise commuter omnibus operators as a move to increase convenience for urban commuters.
It is all part of the government’s plan to develop an integrated and multi-model urban transport system.
However, the transport system is linked to poverty and coming in as an alternative to the less privileged who cannot afford the commuter fares, although the reason of reintroduction is to provide a cheaper mode of transport Zupco’s have caused much pain
Lazarus Maneta a 45-year-old vendor lamented that” boarding a Zupco bus comes with its own problems and hostels that pains me, but simply because I am poor and cannot afford combis I do not have many options “.
“ I have a family to feed and bills to pay, my salary is not enough to cover all those responsibilities and zupco becomes my second option, it is not by choice to use this mode of transport, but circumstances,” said Kathy Khumalo 56 at the bus terminus.
The case of access to cheap transport is a case of survival of the fittest, there are elements of struggles attached to using zupco buses.
Commuters have to wait for long hours and feel the pressure where everyone would be trying to get home by the buses.
The buses do not come on schedule, and it has become a depressing sight seeing grown-up men and women who at that particular time would be coming from work run at bus terminuses in cases where the bus would have changed its parking spot.
Given the economic situation is not ravaged by inflation pressures characterized by a weak local currency, ever-increasing fuel prices, the general populace would have not been subjected to such pressures and struggle, but circumstances hinder their alternative to better modes of transport.
The general population is living in poverty, according to research, Zimbabwe’s poverty datum line (PDL) for an average family of five jumped 15,18 per cent to ZWL$1 617 in July last year, up from ZWL$1 404 the previous month as the cost of living continues to rise.
Although, the stated-owned company ZUPCO had fallen apart due to dire situations other critics saying it was poor management and corruption, its reintroduction in January 2019 is linked to alleviating the incapacitated general populace living under bad circumstances and grabbing the cheapest mode of transport available to sustain themselves.