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Exorbitant bus fares increasing urban, rural divide: PAZ

George Goliati

Rural based people are feeling the bite of high bus fares, such that they are no longer in a position to travel to family gatherings such as funerals, weddings and graduations in the cities or to visit their relatives in other villages, the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has said.

“We have come to the point whereby literally those who belong to cities stay in the cities and those in rural areas stay put as people have no financial capacity to visit their parents or siblings. There is now an artificial border –or Berlin Wall- created by the high bus fares. Rural based expectant mothers and those who are critically ill are also finding it difficult to access maternal care or medical attention such that maternal deaths and mortality of the elderly and other people who need constant medical attention, for instance, those that suffer from hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases are in mortal danger.

“Giving comparison of bus fares: Harare to Bulawayo ranges between $80 and $105; Harare to Mutare is around $70.; Harare to Mutoko  around $15; Harare to Chinhoyi  around $25; Harare to Kadoma $40; Harare to Gweru is around $65. These price hikes have been due to fuel and toll gate price hikes, as well as spare parts that are charged in United States Dollars or its equivalents. We are anticipating further fare hikes as operators continue to cushion themselves,” PAZ President, Tafadzwa George Goliati said.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende