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Monday, 26 February, 2001, 16:31 GMT
Zambian bus painting provokes anger
A public bus in Zambia
All buses will be painted in blue and white colour
By Phylis Mubanga

The public transport services in Zambia have reluctantly started painting their bus and taxi fleet blue and white, after being ordered to do so by the Zambian Transport Minister.


If they think it is good to have a uniform colour, why don't they paint all the government vehicles in blue and white so that they lead by example

Bwalya Chupa, UTTA member
The bus painting exercise is fondly being called "Luo Blue" in reference to Transport Minister Nkandu Luo, who has pledged to "improve sanity in the industry".

The United Transport and Taxis Association (UTTA) said the bus painting exercise was underway, but most UTTA members still insist that though they had complied with the government bus painting law, it was passed without consulting them.

'Insanity'

They said that government's imposition of the law amounted to the worst form of dictatorship.


The bus is uncomfortable. It is just like a moving coffin. Otherwise the bus painting exercise is just an expensive venture for nothing and a waste of resources

A commuter
Mr Bwalya Chupa, a UTTA member said that the law which was intended to bring "sanity" to the transport system would only be a waste of resources.

"I can not understand why the government could dictate to us that we paint buses which we bought using our own money," said a visibly annoyed Mr Chupa.

And he added: "If they think it is good to have a uniform colour, why don't they paint all the government vehicles in blue and white so that they lead by example."

The taxi owners and bus drivers are also worried that the value of their vehicles will depreciate.

The UTTA said that such dictatorial behaviour by the government could cost them a lot of votes in this year's presidential and general elections.

Commuter reaction

Some commuters also said that while the bus painting exercise made the buses look the same, they would have much preferred it if the busses had been repaired before being smeared with a coat of paint.

Juliet Sefu said that it was not good for a commuter to travel in a bus which had a nice coat of paint outside but sit on tattered and broken chairs inside.

"It is uncomfortable. It is just like a moving coffin. Otherwise the bus painting exercise is just an expensive venture for nothing and a waste of resources", she said.

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