By Lungile Moyo
Women have called on better service delivery for women with disabilities in the transportation industry particularly ZUPCO public buses.
Amakhosikazi Media reached out to various stakeholders after observing the long queues and difficulties of getting transportation on time by many citizens using ZUPCO buses. This reporter managed to talk to ordinary women and representatives of women’s organisations to get their views on ZUPCO bus services and how they are meeting the needs of women, especially those living with disabilities as well as to find out what needs to be done to curb current challenges
“You find that if l am to board a bus using a wheel chair l have to be lifted from my wheel chair to the bus up to the bus sit and to me being lifted up is dehumanising especial if you are a woman”, said Sukoluhle Mhlanga.
Mhlanga is a member of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) and she expressed concern that ZUPCO buses are not user friendly for women living with disabilities.
She also added that it will be better if the government provided buses with ramps to make it easier for women with disabilities to access them.
“Another thing that has disadvantaged women with disabilities on ZUPCO buses is that there is too much congestion and there are long queues so if l am using a wheel chair I will have to wait in the queue like an able bodied individual”, she added.
She also expressed that there are some women with disabilities that are not visible and which do not enable them to stand for a long time.
Mhlanga added that the available transportation is not user friendly and clients are charged separately for their wheel chairs as a result travelling becomes even more expensive for them.
Farai Mabhande from King George said concurred saying the introduction of ZUPCO buses by government was a good move but a disadvantage to people with disabilities.
“The government has introduced buses and to me it is a good move, the only problem with ZUPCO buses is that they only cater for the able bodied and they are not in any way accessible to people who use wheelchairs and again there isn’t enough space in those buses which becomes difficult for someone living with a disability”, said Mabhande.