So many developments are taking place at such a fast pace in our country on the policy front, especially in the transport sector, and this has generated a lot of excitement.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Government banned the use of private minibuses that were not contracted to the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company(Zupco) initially as a measure to ensure that Covid-19 regulations were adhered to and later as a policy meant to usher in a new mass public transportation system.
The re-introduction of the kombis has been welcomed by the commuting public though in many instances these vehicles have become rusty, having been off the road for two years and their owners may not have the financial muscle to have them attended to so that they can operate safely on our roads.
We believe that our policies need to feed into one another so that one enables others all in a bid to improve transport while at the same time supporting emerging transporters.
It is therefore our view that the Government needs to craft and roll out an enabling programme aimed at the renewal of the transport fleet so that we do not just celebrate numbers on our roads but also inject safer wheels onto our highways.
The 2020 decision on the commuter buses was occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic but this time around there is more time to put some more thought into the transport system, and see how the sector that supports a majority of the black population, can be improved while at the same time empowering the people.
It would be interesting to even do a research on the impact of the withdrawal of private commuter buses from our roads, since many livelihoods were affected.
Also, the banning of this form of transport opened the floodgates for corruption on our roads where many operators continued to defy the regulations, especially those plying out of town routes, hence entrenched a culture of defiance and also deprived the Government of taxes that would have accrued to it were such operations above board.
We believe the transport authorities have a big task at hand to ensure that our public transport systems evolve and suit our ever changing tastes and needs, and above all meet the safety requirements.
While the re-introduction of commuter buses should be applauded there is a need for guarded optimism especially as regards their safety and general etiquette in the sector.
May we also hasten to remind all concerned that the battle against Covid-19 has not been won yet.
Let us carry this new culture of sanitizing, masking up and taking our vaccines so that we can be safe on the roads, and even when we get off the public transport.