Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
ONE of the founding members of one of Bulawayo and perhaps the country’s biggest private transport association Tshova Mubaiwa Transport Co-operative Mr Samson Mabunda has died.
Mr Mabunda, who played a pivotal role in the formation of the co-operative died yesterday at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo. He was 80 and is survived by eight children, 17 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
In an interview, his son and the co-opt’s marketing manager Mr Ndabazabo Mabunda said his father had a liver infection, which then led to kidney failure.
“He died at around 3am at Mpilo hospital where he had been admitted,” said Mr Mabunda.
The late Mabunda was born and grew up in Insiza district (Matabeleland South) before relocating to Bulawayo, where he worked as a driver for some companies.
“ . . . he retired in 1973. He was one of the founding members of a pirate taxi association, named Zimbabwe Emergency Taxis. He never stopped there as he rose through the ranks until the formation of Tshova Mubaiwa,” said Mr Ndabazabo Mabunda.
Tshova Mubaiwa was established in 1983 in Bulawayo. The co-operative was established against the backdrop of the poverty alleviation programme, a Government initiative that sought to alleviate poverty through self-empowerment of Zimbabwean citizens.
“It wasn’t easy; we had major setbacks that included fuel shortages, competing with cheaper transport operations, such as the freedom train and less-priced buses. The co-operative almost collapsed but managed to survive because of the trust people had in it. Today we stand tall as an organisation and boldly say we are getting there,” he said.
He said ever since the co-operative began to expand they acquired offices at the former Zupco bus terminus in Belmont, which doubles up as a holding bay. Before his death, Mr Mabunda said in an interview that the co-operative had intentions of turning the company’s image around, and also penetrate the Sadc region.
Mabunda will be buried in Filabusi on Tuesday.
Mourners are gathered at 788 New Luveve in Bulawayo.— @peterkmatika