The unilateral increase of fares by public transport operators in the face of fuel shortages has once again brought to the fore the prudence for authorities to resuscitate the urban transport system which they will be able to control.

Zimbabwe is characterised by a very fragmented transport system mostly run by individual operators who operate commuter omnibuses or conventional buses, who hike fares without consulting the government.

The latest fares hike has seen some operators charging as high as $80 for a single trip between the two major cities in the country, Harare and Bulawayo.

Rogue elements this Monday were stoning buses and commuter omnibuses in protest of the exorbitant fares.

Buses and kombis were being forced to drop off passengers as roads were barricaded.

A bus driver who was on his way from Kadoma was badly injured by rowdy youths in Kuwadzana as they tried to force him to drop his passengers.

The commuters narrated how the bus was attacked as it approached Kuwadzana Extension along Bulawayo Road.

Zimbabwe deregulated the urban transport system in 1992 and authorities allowed private players who owned large or small buses or kombis to ferry commuters.

The absence of a metro bus service for public transportation has promoted the growth of the informal public transport which most times do not consult with the government when they intend to increase fares.

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Advocate Fortune Chasi explained that the introduction of a metro bus service in cities will also help in de-congesting the towns, while the conventional buses have been proven to be a more efficient use of road space and address a number of issues including safety of passengers, less pollution and enhances the attractiveness of cities as investment destinations.

Observers have also noted that he majority of commuter omnibus drivers have no respect for traffic regulations as they drive through red traffic lights or go against one-way roads.