PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday commissioned 76 Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses in Bulawayo and said that the country would receive 1 500 more buses from China “soon”.

Mnangagwa ordered the buses to be deployed to Matabeleland North and South rural areas where residents face persistent transport blues.

“The majority of buses we are commissioning today will ply rural areas in Mat North and South provinces to improve the public transport sector,” Mnangagwa said.

“Improvement of the public transport system is being implemented through the ongoing road and rail rehabilitation programme. These programmes must be collectively seen in the context of facilitating economic activity, industrial development, trade and access to services within our respective communities from the ward level upwards.”

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Mnangagwa said more buses were on their way and would, apart from alleviating transport challenges, create employment in the country.

“About 1 500 buses are expected to come from China and 300 of those will come in knocked down parts which will be assembled here in Zimbabwe to create employment,” he said.

Mnangagwa encouraged local authorities to restore and repair transport system infrastructure.

“I urge local authorities to rehabilitate and construct modern, complementary infrastructure such as bus termini, appropriate bus stops among others to ensure safety, timeliness, efficiency and convenience to our commuting public,” Mnangagwa said.

He added: “However, I warn those running rural district councils and urban councils to shun corruption. If you shun corruption, I will shun removing you otherwise those who commit corruption, we part ways.”

Mnangagwa said the government is willing to fund urban and rural communities if they prioritise development.