Ellah Mukwati Herald Reporter
The Passengers Association of Zimbabwe has said it is the duty of councillors to brief residents on proposed amendments to by-laws so that they are able to plan in advance.
The association’s president Mr Tafadzwa Goliati said in a statement yesterday that many residents of Harare, especially commuters were being punished for failing to plan in advance because they will not be aware of the changes.
“It’s very unfortunate that City of Harare always take advantage of the ignorance of its residents and passengers,” he said.
“The councillors who were elected by the residents to represent them in all council affairs have never come back to brief them of the proposed amendments of any by-laws.
“A good example is the new by-laws which prohibit the picking of passengers at undesignated places by operators. These amendments seek to punish both the operator and passenger which is very unfair.
“We heard that these new by-laws sailed through in October and are now awaiting approval after being advertised in two newspaper issues in terms of Section 228 of the Urban Council Acts Chapter 29.5 for any objections.”
Mr Goliati said the implementation of the by-laws had caused confusion in the city.
“The city fathers don’t have a transport master plan for the ever expanding city, which is a mockery,” he said.
“They have since caused some confusion in the city by replacing bus termini with new buildings such as Joina City, Car Sales and Rezende Street, just to name a few.
“Now, commuters are stranded and the city fathers want to punish passengers for their failure.”
Mr Goliati said city authorities were aware that the Central Business District was now too small to accommodate all the traffic, hence there is need for a redesign of the city.
“As PAZ, our members are faced with a number of problems which include dilapidated toilets, lack of clean water, shelters and others,” he said.
“We have even highlighted these to responsible heads of departments and no action was taken or even an acknowledgement that they received our letters.
“We are now concerned with lawlessness at most bus termini where alcohol and drugs are being sold to anyone including drivers, touts and minors.
“A lot of gambling is done there. That is why our members are now shunning these bus termini, which are no longer safe.”
Mr Goliati said the city’s neglect of the bus termini was forcing long distance travellers to opt for undesignated places like the Exhibition Park, Simon Vengai Muzenda Street, Samora Machel and Sam Nujoma.