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ZUPCO Once Upon A Time

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Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is a parastatal company in Zimbabwe, which operates for urban and long-distance bus routes.

ZUPCO was formed in 1980 in Harare, soon after the New Government was formed.
Before Zimbabwean Independence, the bus company was run as a Parastatal and it was known as the Rhodesia Bus Company. After transition, the company was renamed to Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).

By 1993 ZUPCO was operating 1,200 buses on 426 routes.

Regional services

The company offers direct and reliable out-of-country bus services to Countries such as Malawi, Zambia,

Botswana, South Africa.

Urban services

Urban routes include transport services from the key residential areas to many of the Central business districts in Harare.

These include for example the Harare- Chitungwiza route, which travels from a large business district to a large residential area.

In line with being a market driven player in the industry, the company has also sought to alleviate the suffering of the urban consumer who has to pay hiked fares during peak hours by commuter omnibuses. Because of this rising problem, the company has reintroduced the urban bus routes at an affordable fare during the morning and evening peak hours
Rural services

ZUPCO has purposefully invested in and is looking into ways of providing a safe and reliable service for the usually neglected rural residents.

Thus the company provides daily scheduled bus service to many rural areas dotted around the country. Like many other bus companies, rural areas are seldom given bus routes, as the cost is very high for a small part of the population.

ZUPCO operations however declined following deregulation of the urban transport sector,[2] and the uprising of individual based mini-bus “combi” services.

In 2006, the former ZUPCO chairman Charles Nherera was arrested for corruption in relation to bus procurement and was jailed.

In February 2016, the company was accused of Corruption, mismanagement, and flouting very important procedures.

Many of the buses in Harare were cited to have No fuel, as there was not enough money; Although there was still over $500,000 still sitting in a recapitalization account, and only $10,000 is needed to get all of the buses on the road.

In 2004, ZUPCO made great strides when it shipped 40 Isuzu conventional buses from Kenya’s General Motors East Africa at a total cost of $16,9 billion.

It was the second time ZUPCO had purchased buses from General Motors. Earlier that same year, the passenger company took delivery of 100 Isuzu minibuses with a capacity of 33 passengers from the Kenyan company.

It also awarded another tender in November 2003 for the supply of 150 conventional buses to replenish Zupco’s heavily depleted fleet to four companies — Scania SA (30), W Damher (40), Pioneer Motor Corporation (40) and Gift Investments (40).
In 2012, the company acquired 100 buses from China at a cost of USD$7 million. The buses of the FAW brand were meant to boost the country’s income in its quest to recover from the hyperinflation era between 2002 and 2007.
In August 2013, ZUPCO acquired 51 buses valued at $4,3 million as part of the organisation’s three-year strategy which was aimed at improving operations and maximising shareholder value.

The new fleet which comprised 40 convectional and 11 luxury buses was meant to service inter-urban and rural routes.
In July 2019, a further forty-seven ZUPCA buses were commissioned.

Robert Tapfumaneyi

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