Institutional preparedness to bus tendering in the context of a fragmented liberalized market: Case study of Harare, Zimbabwe

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - africa, place - urban, mode - bus, organisation - competition, economics - revenue, planning - methods


Competitive tendering, Institutional preparedness, Informal sector, Formal sector, Policy implementation


While competitive tendering in urban public transport has been widely applied in the developed world, in many developing countries, particularly Africa, this has not been the case. In Zimbabwe, competitive tendering was identified in 2012 as a tool to address the urban transport challenges emanating from a deregulated urban public transport market. To date, the tendering option has not been implemented. This paper examines the institutional preparedness to bus tendering in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. A mixed-methods research paradigm was used to obtain data and information from three relevant transport stakeholder clusters comprising public, private and academia sectors. The findings of the study have shown that the key stakeholders have a clear understanding of what competitive tendering entails, but implementation is hindered by inter alia lack of infrastructure and support systems, lack of commitment to policy implementation and a reluctance to interfere with the status quo that generates revenue for the economy through both legal and illegal means. The study is of value to other developing countries, particularly Africa, which may draw lessons from the Zimbabwe experiences. The study recommended the need for a detailed diagnostic study to analyse the deep-rooted political and economic factors or pressures that impede a movement from the status quo.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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