Last quarter of 2022 saw His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, commissioning 18 Public Service Commission buses as part of the Civil Service Rural Transport Scheme.

The Civil Service Bus Scheme is an initiative which ensures that there are buses serving the rural routes across the width and breadth of the country in order to provide safe, reliable and affordable transportation for civil servants in rural and remote parts of the nation.

The bus commissioning event on 17 November 2022, which was ably-directed by Public Service Commission Secretary, Dr Tsitsi R. Choruma, as the Master of Ceremonies, drew large audiences as hundreds upon hundreds of people from Gwanda and surrounding areas in Matabeleland South thronged Pelandaba Stadium to witness the ceremony. Cabinet Ministers, civil servants and traditional leaders also attended the event.

The  bus commissioning under the Civil Service Rural Transport Scheme stands out as yet another shining example of what the Government in the Second Republic is doing for its people in fulfilling promises and responding to the people’s needs.

Launching the buses, President Mnangagwa reiterated Government’s commitment to delivering for the people. He said the intervention by Government to provide buses for civil servants in the rural areas was in response to transport challenges they were facing.

“We have many civil servants working in rural areas in our districts and provinces and we are giving them these buses for ease of transportation,” President Mnangagwa said.

The 18 buses were purchased by Treasury and are part of a phased programme, which will see the Government acquiring more buses to be deployed to various provinces under the Civil Service Rural Transport Scheme.

The 18 buses are a fourth batch of buses commissioned by Government for the Public Service as a whole in the course of the Second Republic, including for urban routes.  In 2019 the President launched 25 buses; 33 in 2020; and 13 in 2021.

Speaking at the bus commissioning event, Public Service Commission, Chairman, Dr Vincent Hungwe said the buses were part of the President’s visionary leadership which sought to improve working conditions for civil servants.

“Your Excellency, your administration has successfully sustained its commitment to improving the working condition of its workers.  In your visionary leadership, you directed us to improve access to affordable transport for the civil servants,” Dr Hungwe said. “We are happy to inform you that with support from Treasury, this year we have acquired an additional 18 buses.”

The Civil Service Rural Transportation Scheme is in line with the mantra of “leaving no one and no place behind”, Dr Hungwe said.

“All the buses you are commissioning, will ply rural routes,” Dr Hungwe said.

The commissioned buses will be distributed to the provinces as follows: Matabeleland South 3; Midlands 3 and two buses each for Matabeleland North, Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, West and East.

More buses are expected to be procured for more rural routes in the near future.

Speaking at the commissioning event, president of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU), Mrs Cecilia Alexander praised Government for providing the much needed transport for civil servants which she hailed as a move that would restore dignity to the commuting Government workers.

“Never again shall we go to work sitting on top of a gearbox with all the heat and sweat,” Mrs Alexander said in apparent reference to how in packed public commuter omnibuses (kombis) some passengers end up being made to sit on top of gearboxes. “As ZCPSTU, we have so much to celebrate in regard to the commitment of the Second Republic towards improving the terms of conditions for its workers and this is in spite of the fact that more can still be done.”

Government remains committed to improving the conditions of service for all its workers.