By Tinashe Karimazondo
Commuter omnibus operators plying routes despite Government’s directive to suspend their operations said they were paying off police officers manning roadblocks so as to keep operating.
It is alleged police officers required each commuter omnibus to pay at least US$5 per day.
In March last year, as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Government suspended commuter omnibuses from operating with only ZUPCO licensed buses and commuter omnibuses allowed to operate.
Commuter omnibus driver identified as Mkoma Jose said they had to cultivate relationships with the police in order to operate.
“We are being charged US$ 5 per day and these days you do not give the cash directly to the police men in uniform, they will tell you to go and give it to the leader at the roadblock who will be dressed as a civilian.”
Commuter omnibus conductor identified as Bla Kedha said police at Simon Mazorodze just after round about Mbudzi were very strict as they only required payment in US dollars.
“They need their US dollars they are no tricks, ‘ he said.
Commuter omnibuses that intend to operate are required by Government to register under the ZUPCO franchise.