COWDRAY PARK residents in Bulawayo yesterday said they cannot wait to use their own commuter omnibuses they bought recently to free themselves from frequent ill-treatment they endure from rude kombi drivers and touts.
Some residents from the high-density suburb formed the Cowdray Park Taxis Association (CPTA) in March this year following an outcry by residents that they were being ill-treated and fleeced by kombi operators.
Residents were each asked to contribute $60 per head towards the project and last week the company unveiled two kombis aimed at easing transport woes in the suburb.
A resident Siphilisiwe Moyo said they could not wait for their kombis to start operating to show current operators that customer care is key in every business.
“We cannot wait to finally use our own kombis because we have had enough of these rude conductors who have no respect for anyone. We have tried to reason with them, but they are just hard-headed and you cannot reach an understanding with them,” Moyo said.
“We are also tired of fares that change abruptly. In the morning they can charge you R7 and in the evening $1. So we really cannot wait to enjoy the fruits of our efforts as a community.”
Another resident Cidella Ncube said the residents’ association kombis must start operating soon as some commuters were falling prey to robbers because rude kombi crews dropped them off at points that force them to walk long distances to get home, especially at night.
“The kombis must start operating as soon as possible because our lives are at risk as a lot of people are constantly attacked by thugs. Commuter transport operators do not go as far as Hlalani kuhle areas, so we are forced to drop off far from our homes risking attacks,” Ncube said.
Thando Dliwayo said most kombi drivers did not possess legal driving documents and as a result dodge cops putting passengers’ lives at risk from accidents as well as delaying them to their intended destinations.
“These kombi crews spend the day running away from police because they do not have the right documents and as a result we always get delayed at work or other places and that is why we want our own kombis,” he said.
Cowdray Park councillor Collet Ndlovu said they were still in the process of registering the kombis and should be serving residents by July.
He said CPTA was also in the process of securing a loan from a local bank to enable residents to purchase 18 more kombis.
“We are in the process of registering the kombis, but by July the kombis will be on the road. As it is, we are also trying to get a bank loan that will enable us to buy 18 more kombis for the residents so that no other kombis will ply the Cowdray Park route,” Ndlovu added.