Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya convicted a kombi driver Frank Ndebele for failing to display front and rear number plates and picking passengers at an undesignated area. Tashaya banned Ndebele for life from driving and sentenced him to a year in jail. The Chronicle reports that Mduduzi Ndlovu who is a first time offender, got away with a $30 fine before the same court.
Police arrested Ndebele while he was picking passengers along the 6th Avenue Extension and Lobengula Street, with the registration plates of his car covered up. On July 7, Tashaya fined him $100 or 20 days in prison for failing to display number plates and further sentenced him to 12 months in prison for picking passengers at an undesignated place and banned him from driving for the rest of his life.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango welcomed the sentence while Kombi crews operating at the 6th Avenue spot said the court was too harsh.
Kombi is the informal name of minibuses in Zimbabwe. This is usually given to the 18 seater type which are privately owned but used for public transport in the country. They are the most popular form of public transport in Zimbabwe a result of the decline of formal city transport once dominated by government run ZUPCO transport company. A Kombi used for public usually plys both the local residential suburb to city routes (e.g. Mbare to Harare city centre) and the city to city routes (e.g. Bulawayo to Harare). When used as public transport the Kombi is usually manned by two people, a driver and a conductor. While the former duty is primarily driving, the latter is in charge of collecting the kombi fare from the passengers, open and close the door when passengers get to their destination or when picking up someone as well as calling out the destination of the vehicle while it's moving through an area so that anyone travelling that route can flag it down. At the terminuses the job of loading the kombi is done by a Hwindi who calls to potential passengers while the Kombi is stationary. The hwindi is paid on the spot for his services once the kombi is full. The driver and conductor however are employees of the Kombi owner and are usually paid as regular employees at day's end, week's end or even month. Read More
Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. Its location was selected by the last Matebele king, King lobengula. Bulawayo used to be one of the country's most attractive cities and a major transport hub for Southern Africa until Zimbabwe entered a period of economic depression in the early 00s. The name Bulawayo is loosely translated 'the place of slaughter' or 'the place of killing', which is derived from the Ndebele word 'bulala' meaning 'kill'. Read More