BY RICHARD MUPONDE
HARARE City Council (HCC) has launched a crackdown on bicycle and dog owners, demanding that they buy licences in an effort to increase revenue inflows.
The annual licence fees on bicycles were introduced on the strength of Harare (Cycle-Licensing) by-laws 2016, which stipulate that any person who fails to comply shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or one-year imprisonment or both.
According to the by-law, “on January 1 of each year, the owner of a cycle which is ordinarily kept and used on any road within the council area shall obtain a licence for the cycle, with the licence expiring on December 31 in the year of issue”.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme yesterday confirmed the new development.
“It’s true we have already started enforcing the by-laws and fining those who don’t have licences. We are doing it as part of making sure we maximise on revenues,” Chideme said.
“We haven’t been enforcing the by- laws because of an oversight on our part. The fact that the by-laws were enacted during the (Ian) Smith regime doesn’t matter. If a law is good what’s bad with that.”
Cyclists are requested to produce bicycle licences at municipal roadblocks with defaulters having their cycles impounded while a door-to-door raid on dog owners would also be conducted to check on registration in accordance with council by-laws and animal control measures.
Harare Residents Trust executive director Precious Shumba said: “What is unknown is how they will use the revenue generated from the dog and bicycle licensing fees. What is evidently missing is a monitoring and evaluation framework for the implementation of their by-laws. The Harare (Dog Licensing and Control) by-law (1993) has been there, but council had totally forgotten about it.”