Zimbabwe United Passenger Company

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Zimbabwe United Passenger Company
Trading name
Zimbabwe United Passenger Company
Formerly called
Rhodesia Bus Company
HeadquartersBelvedere, Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
Obert Mpofu

Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is a parastatal that administers government's public transport buses and commuters. It operates transport services that ply local and regional routes. The parastatal operates under the Ministry of Transport and is headquartered in Belvedere, Harare, a few miles form Harare's central business district.

See Mutapa Investment Fund.


ZUPCO was formed in 1980 after the new nationalist government was formed taking over from the Ian Smith led government. Before 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.


The ZUPCO fleet of buses were custom made for the Zimbabwean government by a Chinese vehicle manufacturer, First Automotive Group Corporation. The company which has been in existence since 1956 was previously known as First Automotive Works (FAW), from which the company derives the name that is on the latest brand.


Locally, the fleet services most of the country's major highways. These include;

  • Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Beitbridge, Masvingo, Plumtree, Zvishvane, Kariba, Chinhoyi, Nyanga, Chipinge, Birchnough Bridge, Chivi, Zaka, Mutoko, Rusape among others. Besides local routes, the bus company also operates international routes for example from Harare to Lilongwe the Blantyre in Malawi and Harare to Lusaka the capital city of Zambia. It also has routes from Harare to Johannesburg in South Africa.

The Rural Bus Service

ZUPCO has purposefully invested and is constantly looking into ways of providing a safe and reliable service for our previously neglected rural folk. Thus the company provides daily scheduled bus service to many rural areas dotted around the country.

Urban Passenger Service

Urban routes include transport services from the respective residential areas to the Central business district in Harare. These include for example the Harare- Chitungwiza route. 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 is made to pay hiked fares during peak hours by commuter omnibuses. The company has therefore reintroduced the urban bus routes at an affordable fare during the morning and evening peak hours.[1]

Regional Bus Operations

The company offers affordable, direct, safe and reliable bus services to regional countries such as Zambia and Malawi and South Africa.[1]

Bus Hire Services

People can also hire ZUPCO buses for corporate functions, weddings, funerals, and other events.[1]

Loyalty Service

The loyalty service is a discounted charge offered by the company to its regular customers especially those who commute international routes. When a customer has made a certain number of trips using ZUPCO, they are awarded a discount of up to 50 percent.[1]


Acquisition of New Buses

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.[2] 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.[2] 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).[2]

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.[3]

In July 2019, a further forty-seven ZUPCA buses were commissioned. [4] https://news.pindula.co.zw/2019/07/31/president-mnangagwa-commissions-47-new-zupco-buses/

Zimbabwe United Passenger’s Company bribery scandal


Major Accidents

Harare-Nyamapanda Road Bus Disaster (18 Jan 2015)

Wreckage of ZUPCO bus after colliding with Unifreight bus

Date: Sunday, 18 January 2015
Location: Harare- Nyamapanda Highway, 35 km peg
Involved: ZUPCO bus and Unifreight bus
Deaths: 26
Injuries: 45 injured
Cause of accident: Both drivers said to be speeding, Harare-bound Unifreight bus said to have encroached onto other lane.

Harare - Nyamapanda Bus Accident (4 Aug 2014)

ZUPCO Bus plunges into river

Date: Monday, 4 August 2014
Location: Harare- Nyamapanda Highway, 22 km peg
Involved: ZUPCO bus and Mujawo Transport haulage truck
Deaths: 13
Injuries: 18 injured
Cause of accident: Haulage truck was reversing and Malawi-bound bus came and side-swiped it, leading to bus plunging into the river

Shurungwi Accident (Feb 2014)

Date: February 2014
Location: Shurugwi-Mandamabwe road.
Involved: ZUPCO Bus
Deaths: 4
Injuries: 12 injured
Cause of Accident: The Bus Swept away while trying to cross a flooded River

Musebezi River Accident (February 2014)

Date: February 2014
Location: Musebezi River, Midlands
Involved: ZUPCO Bus and Haulage Truck
Deaths: 4
Injuries: 1
Cause of Accident: Collision with a Haulage Truck

Zvishavane Accident (October 2013)

Date: October 2013
Location: Runde River, Zvishavane
Involved: Bus
Deaths: 14
Injuries: 16 injured
Cause of Accident: Plunged into Runde River

Kwekwe Accident (September 2012)

Date: September 2012
Location: Kwekwe
Involved: Zupco Bus and Private Car
Deaths: 4
Injuries: Noone was injured
Cause of Accident: Collision with a Private Car


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 , Products and Services,ZUPCO, retrieved:I20 jan 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 , Zupco goes shopping,The Standard, published:6 Feb 2004,retrieved:20 Jan 2015"
  3. M. Chideme, ZUPCO Recalls 400 Ex Workers for New Fleet,Nehanda Radio, published:19 Mar 2012,retrieved:20 Jan 2015"
  4. , President Mnangagwa Commissions 47 New ZUPCO Buses,Pindula News, published:31 July 2019,retrieved:31 July 2019"

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