A BULAWAYO High Court judge has stripped the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) of its monopoly in the public transport business.
Justice Evangelista Kabasa said COVID-19 lockdown regulations which saw private public transport operators being restricted from providing services was unlawful, irregular and invalid.
The ruling was triggered by an application by Tshova Mubaiwa Transport Co-operation Limited challenging the Zupco monopoly after its members were ordered to stop operations in line with COVID-19 regulations.
In the application, Tshova-Mubaiwa cited Vice-President and Health and Child Care minister Constantino Chiwenga, Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Godwin Matanga, Local Government minister July Moyo and President Emmerson Mnangagwa as respondents.
In her ruling, Justice Kabasa said: “It is ordered that section 4(2)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19) Prevention, Containment and Treatment (National Lockdown) Order 2020 be declared unlawful, irregular and invalid and is hereby reviewed and set aside and the first respondent to pay the costs of suit.”
Tshova Mubaiwa Transport was represented by Josephat Tshuma from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Commenting on the ruling, the ZLHR tweeted: “We have stripped the State-run @zupcobus of its widely-despised monopoly in the transport sector by outlawing legislation which caused a domination for Zupco to provide bus and commuter omnibus transport services to passengers across Zimbabwe.”
Government has been insisting that private commuter omnibus operators remain banned unless they join the Zupco franchise.
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