Combi-Bus to Chivere
For people living in Zimbabwe’s most isolated villages, the combi bus—a public mini bus that drives a set route—is the lifeblood of the community and one of few practical transport links with the outside world. People use the affordable combi buses for all sorts of reasons: to take their goods to market, to go shopping, to visit the clinic or hospital, or simply to keep in touch with relatives.
Before demining started, Chivere was linked to the nearest large town by just one combi-bus per day, a totally inadequate service for the village’s population of over 800 people. I was told that the bus drivers were simply too scared to make the journey owing to the mines.
In recent months, however, the number of combi buses visiting Chivere each day has risen from one to four. I recently stopped to chat with some passengers in an early morning combi heading for Chomutukutu town, 20 km to the south east of Chivere. Some passengers were visiting relatives, some were going to market to sell produce they had grown, one passenger was taking her son to the medical clinic, and another was going to buy fuel for the Chivere village grinding mill.