HARARE – Harare City Fathers will confront “vagrants” in the Central Business District (CBD) who for years have been controlling some of the city’s parking bays.
Harare City Council business committee chairperson Peter Moyo said council would like to take advantage of the lack of politicisation of certain parts of Harare and reclaim some of their captured places.
Some parking bays in the CBD are manned by vagrants who have since banned City Parking marshals from collecting tariffs from motorists parking there.
The vagrants have for years been controlling the bays, even before the introduction of City Park services and believe these belong to hem.
“We need to seize the opportunity presented by the prevailing new dispensation to ensure that all vehicle parking bays in the CBD are reclaimed and report to the relevant council committees,” he said.
Moyo said council had since tasked the acting town clerk Hosea Chisango to engage the relevant authorities to achieve success in implementing the project.
“If need be we will have to engage the Zimbabwe Republic Police on the matter because as you know our municipal police do not have arresting powers and have suffered assaults at the hands of the public,” Moyo emphasised.
However, some of the parking marshals said they depended on the meagre income they got from people who parked in ‘their bays’.
The vagrants argued that they had a regular clientele base which depended on them for the safe keeping of their vehicles.
Tawanda Nyakudya, a parking marshal along Nelson Mandela said he has grown up on the streets and parking cars has been his source of livelihood.
Nyakudya told the Daily News that unless the issue of employment was addressed, he would not stop parking cars.
“Some time ago I remember being told council wanted to extend the CBD boundaries. I was happy because I wanted to recruit my siblings into the business. Now they want to take away our money.
“We have no problems with City Parking — so what do they want? How do they expect us to survive? If they take the parking bays, we will begin to steal so that we can fend for our families. If that is what they want so be it,” Nyakudya said.
While council wants to reclaim its parking bays, they have also accused City Parking of not remitting enough to Town House every month.
At a half term review of the city’s 100-day Rapid Results initiative, resources management team leader Agnes Masuku said the $40 000 council was receiving from City Parking was wrong.
“What we are told is that there are 7 000 marked parking bays were $40 000 is collected every month. However, our calculations show that we should be getting $840 000 every month which translates to $28 000 every day. These are only calculations for 50 percent occupation of the bays.
“We feel that City Parking is shortchanging us. We will have to request a face to face meeting with them so that we find out if there are any problems and iron them out,” Masuku said.