ZUPCO Bosses Accused Of Corruption, Mismanagement
Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) top management and private operators contracted by the state-owned public transportation provider are at the centre of corruption and mismanagement allegations.
The Standard reported sources within the company as saying buses and kombis spend the majority of their time parked at the Belvedere depot in Harare but still get paid for services not rendered.
It is alleged that the private operators would fill out waybills with the full knowledge of ZUPCO’s top management, which would then be used to obtain money from the government despite not having provided any services.
One of the conductors operating the Chitungwiza route told The Standard that they spend the greater part of the day doing nothing. Said the conductor:
We arrive first thing in the morning, complete the waybill and then wait till the day is done.
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Sometimes we are provided fuel sufficient for one or two trips only to maintain “fake” presence in the market.
Private bus and kombi operators reportedly receive the equivalent of US$280 and US$95 respectively per day or the equivalent in local currency.
At one point, the ZUPCO fleet comprised 818 private kombis and 1 121 buses overall, with 705 buses operated by independent contractors hired by the company.
However, violation of contractual obligations by ZUPCO has forced some to withdraw their fleet.
The ZUPCO management is being accused of struggling to maintain its day-to-day operations and fulfilling its obligations as a result of corruption, poor management, and wrong priorities.
For example, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) reportedly garnished ZUPCO accounts last month for failing to send monthly contributions to the pension fund.
NSSA spokesperson Tendai Mutseyekwa declined to comment on the matter citing concerns about confidentiality.
In November 2022, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) was on the verge of suspending commuter train services due to ZUPCO’s failure to meet its obligations before the Government swiftly overturned the decision.
ZUPCO management consists of interim CEO Everisto Madangwa, administrator Linda Samunderu and finance manager Tendai Nyamayaro.
A ZUPCO employee told The Standard that the top management spends a lot of money on workshops and organising fun days.
However, ZUPCO board chairman Quinton Kanhukamwe said he was not aware of the allegations. He said:
It is the work of the board to make sure that we get adequate responses from the executive on such issues.
Our meetings are quarterly and we are yet to have our board meeting for this quarter but in between, we may have meetings to deal with specific issues.
That’s why some of these issues have not come to the attention of the board.
The Government reintroduced the long-abandoned ZUPCO buses in January 2019 after deadly riots broke out mainly in Harare and Bulawayo after an unprecedented fuel price hike triggered transport chaos. | The Standard