US$500k holding bay remains white elephant 

Source: US$500k holding bay remains white elephant | The Herald

US$500k holding bay remains white elephant
Kombi operators are shunning the Coventry holding bay

Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter

The US$500 000 kombi holding bay at the corner of Coventry Road and Abdel Gamal Nasser Road (Rotten Row) remains a white elephant nearly a decade after construction, amid calls by Harare residents to put it to good use for an alternative purpose.

The holding bay was built to help decongest the city centre in 2014 but up to now is lying idle.

A visit to the site yesterday showed that the holding bay is fast deteriorating, with grass growing through the cracks. The site has been taken over by informal traders and being used a car wash with illegal vendors also selling fast foods at the premises while a host of vehicles were observed parking inside the bay.

The council has been accused of constructing the structure which does not have sheds and without proper consultations with stakeholders.

The plan was for kombis, which then were the only public transport, and which were serving the western and south western routes, easily the busiest, would be parked at the bay and be summoned to the bus stops when required.

This was to stop them taking up most of the parking space along several streets in the Kopje area.

It was never used for this purpose.

Combined Harare Residents’ Association programmes manager, Mr Rueben Akili, said the facility must be put to good use.

“What we have seen is that the Coventry rank has become a white elephant due to the non-consultative processes that gave birth to that project. However, we expect Harare City Council to make use of the rank and rake in revenue.

“Long-distance buses for Gweru, Kadoma and Bulawayo buses can make use that rank, if it is upgraded since it is the ideal place for buses plying routes to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia,” he said.

Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme yesterday said Coventry holding bay was now used by cross border buses especially to Namibia and Public Service Commission buses.