The High Court has ruled against a law which gave the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) monopoly paving the way for the return of private players such as commuter omnibuses.
Justice Evangelista Kabasa, sitting in Bulawayo, ruled that Section 4(2)(a) of the Public Health (Covic-19) Prevention, Containment and Treatment (National Lockdown) Order 2020 is unlawful, irregular and invalid.
The law provided that only ZUPCO could transport passengers and was passed during the high period of COVID.
The passing of the law left several people unemployed in 2020 as a result of the arbitrary ban on commuter omnibuses and their right to choose and carry out a profession of their choice.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the ban also violated other rights.
“The ban also violated their right to administrative justice as enshrined in section 68 of the Constitution.
“In representing Tshova Mubaiwa, we sought to advance the rights to administrative action and the rights to a trade of one’s choice,” it said.
In its case the ZLHR cited the Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga, Godwin Matanga, the Commissioner General of Police, Local Government Minister July Moyo and President Mnangagwa.
The ban on kombis and private buses was made by government in March 2020 and left ZUPCO as the only approved operator.
This spawned a major transport crisis across the country as commuters struggled to get transport to or from work.
Lately more private transport operators have returned to the streets using even smaller Toyota Wish, Honda Fit and other vehicles to cover the gap created by the ban on kombis.
This has effectively negated any changes which government intended to bring about through banning kombis.