Story by Peter Chivhima
THE Harare City Council has come under fire for sticking to hefty clamping tow away fines after making minor adjustments to the fees.
Government has since called on the local authority to desist from unprofessional operations.
Following a public outcry over hefty clamping tow away fees being imposed by the Harare City Council, the city authorities stuck to the initiative despite few adjustments.
In a statement this Friday the only notable adjustment was its acceptance to give motorists a grace period after the expiry of their parking tickets within the CBD, however the US$132 clamping and towing fines remain in place.
The Harare City Council did not shed light on reducing clamping tow fines and improve road markings.
A snap survey by ZBC News in the Central Business District this Saturday, showed that motorists are not happy with the slight adjustments made by the city authorities.
“We are not yet convinced about the adjustments by the city authorities because for me the US$132 fine is too much. Where one can get such amount of money?”
“I think there is need for the city authorities to come up with policies that favour people not to take people for granted. This is not good, I think they need to reduce the amount.”
Zimbabwe National Organization of Association of Residents Trust is calling on city authorities to consider the people’s plight.
“As representatives of residents in Harare, we are not happy with the way people are being treated by the Harare City Council. We are of the views that the city authorities should consider people because surely US$132 is exorbitant for one to pay. Yes, yesterday they made announcement, but nothing changed. They ignored to consider on the issue of road markings because at times a motorist can be clamped being accused of failure to observe markings but in most of the parking bays lines are no longer visible,” said Mr Shalva Chikomba, Chairperson of National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust.
Zanu PF Spokesperson, Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa this Friday condemned the Harare city council for the stiffer penalties on tow away fees.
On Friday Government noted that the fines are grossly unreasonable and not people centred before directing the city of Harare and Easy Park to desist from their unprofessional operations which are leading to disturbances in Harare’s CBD.
The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo has since set up an investigation team to look into the shareholding of City Parking, the Financial Management of City Parking revenues, the allegations of corruption and misconduct by City Parking officials among others.