Commuter omnibus associations in Bulawayo say the recent fare hikes are illegal.
In a meeting held with residents, police and Bulawayo City Council, Tuesday, kombi associations, Bulawayo City Transit, Tshova Mubaiwa and Bulawayo Public Transporters Association (BUPTA) said they are not aware that kombis had increased fares from $0,75 to $1.
BUPTA chairperson Morgan Msipa said the association is not involved in fare hikes.
“When basic commodity prices started to increase, drivers on the ground came up with the 75 cents. BUPTA did not involve itself in the increase. We ended up accepting the price. As for the $1, we are not aware of something like that happening,” said Msipa.
Altas Moyo from Mtshova Mubaiwa said their association has not yet released a statement on fare hikes and drivers are illegally overcharging commuters without the knowledge of the kombi owners.
However, Expriccos, which operates along Gwanda Road said they have not yet hiked fares.
Residents who attended the meetingshot back at the associations saying they were not being truthful.
Patricia Tshabalala a resident from Makokoba said kombi associations should stop hiding behind the finger because they are also part of the owners who hike prices.
“Kombi owners are working in hand with drivers to hike fares up to a dollar. They know the situation at hand. In fact, everyone in Bulawayo knows that kombis have increased fares,” she said.
Mr Mbambo from Emganwini concurred saying it’s not a secret that people board kombis for a dollar every day.
“As we were coming to town this morning, we boarded Mubaiwa for $1,” he said.
One resident expressed dismay saying her child could not go and write her exams because of the hiked prices.
Residents also called on kombi owners to stop buying fuel from the black market, as it results in fare hikes.
To control the fare increases, the associations encouraged residents not to board kombis charging a $1.