Local Government Minister, July Moyo has urged police to enlist the services of the army in operations meant to curb the activities of illegal private transport operators who are plying various routes in cities and towns.
Under the Covid-19 regulations, ZUPCO is the only public transport operator permitted on the roads.
However, due to lack of capacity by the public bus operator, private transporters are now back on the roads to ferry some desperate commuters.
As Local Government minister, Moyo oversees Bulawayo’s provincial taskforce committee on Covid-19.
He said government was concerned about the return of private transport operators on the country’s roads.
“I would like to talk to you (police) before I leave because this is very important,” Moyo said.
“If we don’t enforce, people will relax, maybe there are difficulties but it is better to know if there are difficulties but that does not mean we allow non-public transport to take place.
“We operate under pieces of legislation, so if enforcement requires you to command the municipal police, please do so. If the law, as it does, allows you to say if you are overwhelmed, please bring the army, please do it.
“It’s you who has to make the decisions to enforce what the government would have said,” he said.
Moyo was addressing a meeting of various sub-committees of the Bulawayo Provincial Covid-19 taskforce.
The minister claimed that government had crafted the public transport policy way before Covid-19 struck to maintain order.
“We started this when there was no Covid-19, to say only ZUPCO will be the public transporter in all urban areas.
“In fact, if the private sector was still dominant and we would in my view have a worse situation, so the enforcement of public transport is important,” he said.
Moyo urged the police to act decisively on private transporters.
“And anybody who doesn’t follow that, you become ruthless because it should be one command,” added Moyo.