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DING DONG CAUSES BUS RANK COMMOTION

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MBABANE – The arrival of a bus trading under the style-name Ding Dong caused commotion at the Mbabane Bus Rank yet again!


The disorder ensued when livid bus conductors blocked the road with four dustbins and stones when the brown and white Ding Dong bus made its way into the rank.


Police officers arrived at the scene as the behaviour was a clear defiance of an interim court order that was issued by the High Court.
One conductor was caught by the police but a marshal stepped in to mediate as the mayhem could not be accredited to one person.
He was able to evade arrest and walked away with a minor foot injury.


On March 25, 2019, the High Court ruled in favour of bus owner, Jabulani Mbuso Gulwako, by way of issuing an interim order interdicting the marshals and the Mbabane Branch Swaziland Local Kombi Association from interfering with the smooth operations of his buses.
The reason Gulwako submitted the urgent application was because the bus rank marshals and conductors were questioning how his two buses had obtained a permit to operate at the Mbabane Bus Rank.


One of the conductors, who spoke to this publication said; “A number of us here applied for permits. The Mbabane municipality denied us permits because they said the bus rank was full. But now the buses have permits. Does that not point to corruption?”
Another vehicle owner showed this reporter all the paperwork he had filed for a permit in 2012 and said he too had been told the same thing about the bus rank being at full capacity.


A bus rank marshal said; “We had to go to court yesterday in order to rebuke any unruly behaviour from the conductors. The conductors do not seem to understand why the court never issued an order to stop the bus from operating with the case pending.”


He went on to express how the marshals were at their wits end because the case kept being postponed and buses kept operating. He said; “We were told to come back tomorrow. This must be the tenth time this case has been postponed. No one understands why.”


Letter


He explained that the Mbabane Municipality had written a letter that stated that the bus rank was indeed at full capacity and that was why no new permits were being issued.


 “This is why we are asking how the buses got their permits. The permit that these buses use was issued for the Manzini-Ludzeludze route. That permit was amended and it now services the Mbabane-Manzini via Mahlanya route. According to town council, an amendment requires a fresh permit,” the marshal further alleged.


When he filed his application in court, Gulwako asserted that he had gone through all the necessary procedures for the buses to service the Mbabane-Manzini route, and that the buses had a timetable.
He said when one bus left the Manzini terminal, the other one also left the Mbabane bus terminal. One conductor, during an interview yesterday, alleged that the buses had one permit they share which he said was what they called ‘twinning.’
Explained
He explained that twinning buses were supposed to be based at the same terminal, as they had the same permit and thus their paths were never to cross.
However, he alleged that these buses did not follow that requirement.
The Mbabane Municipal Council Information and Public Relations Officer, Lucky Tsabedze, confirmed that the bus rank was at full capacity and that no new permits were being issued.
When this reporter tried to reach the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Principal Secretary, Makhosini Mndawe, to get his comment on the matter pertaining to the permit of the buses, his phone was not answered.


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