THE ruling Zanu PF party yesterday turned the commissioning of the refurbished Kudzanayi Bus Terminus in Gweru into a campaign rally with hundreds of supporters attending the event clad in party regalia.
The event was officiated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was accompanied by former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Local Government minister July Moyo, and State Security minister Owen Ncube, among other senior party and government officials.
Mnangagwa commended the City of Gweru for spearheading the refurbishment of the bus terminus, which he said was in line with government’s vision 2030.
“I almost said you (MDC Alliance mayor and councillors) should always be there (because of the good work in refurbishing the bus terminus), but a Zanu PF member should be in charge,” Mnangagwa jokingly said.
“Gweru is living vision 2030 and this is commendable.
“The state-of-the-art infrastructure accommodates more than 500 vendors who were once operating in a chaotic environment.”
He said private players should come on board and implement similar ventures to uplift cities.
“Such infrastructure improves the working conditions of informal traders.
“But l urge you not to charge high fees for informal traders just because you now have a state-of-the-art terminus.
“You should charge fees that guarantee affordability and sustainability.
“ You should charge reasonable fees,” he said.
Muchinguri-Kashiri said the project had also benefited war veterans.
“We also have war veterans who are informal traders at the refurbished markets,” she said.
The bus terminus was refurbished by Bentach Resources at a cost of US$1,6 million.
Informal traders have, however, complained that bay fees charged by Bentach were beyond their reach.
Vendors have to fork out between $400 and $800 per day, with representatives of informal traders questioning the poverty alleviation strategy given the high fees.