Hefty fines for parking offences

Mr Gwindi

Mr Gwindi

Herald Reporter
The Harare City Council has increased clamping and tow-away fees for illegally parked vehicles and those that violate the city’s traffic regulations from US$112 to US$423 in the 2014 budget. The proposal, which was passed by the council last week, now awaits approval by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo.

Council spokesman Leslie Gwindi said the provisions for traffic violations have been made stringent to prevent accidents and restore sanity in the central business district.

“The fees are punitive enough to make the people adhere to city traffic requirements and also to enforce the by-laws,” he said.
“This will bring sanity to the city and people will learn to park their vehicles properly.”

Currently, the city charges US$57 for wheel clamping of small vehicles and US$80 for kombis while the tow-away charges stand at US$112 for light vehicles and US$132 for kombis. The amended Harare (Clamping and Tow-Away) By-Laws 2013 would come into force once the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Dr Chombo approves the new regulations and the by-laws gazette.

Mr Gwindi said the council was fully prepared to crack down on parking offenders.
“We have increased the number of patrolling traffic officers around the city and we are prepared to control the traffic,” he said.

The city is expecting to raise US$5,4 million from clamping and towing out of its projected US$364 million 2014 budget.
The city plans to increase its fleet that operates the city to 20 vehicles to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the clampdown on traffic offenders.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba denounced the hefty fines as punitive and inconsiderate.
“The City of Harare has once again demonstrated that it has no willingness to learn from its failed policies,” he said.

“It is clear that the elected councillors of Harare have not applied their minds to this, leaving the task to come up with strategies of taming traffic congestion to senior council management, who have no idea what it means to part with money.”

He accused the council of being insensitive saying the decision to increase tow-away fees was unreasonable, unjustified and would only serve to increase the negative sentiments towards everything associated with the council.

“The measure is ill-advised, dull and demonstrates lack of creativity on the part of council,” Shumba said. “They have only attempted to address symptoms of a planning crisis, but have not attempted to deal with the core issue — the parking space and large holding bays for commuter omnibuses.”

The council, he said, must be cracking to facilitate engagements with urban planners, business, Central Government, transporters and other stakeholders who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

He said the council should have considered other experiences from the Sadc region to come up with a lasting solution to the problem.

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  • observer

    I am not surprised. Greed and cruelty at its worst. The city council is deliberately creating chaos so as to get income from clamping fines. 1) Many commuter omnibus ranks are now too small to accommodate the fleet of combis. Nothing has been done to adequately address this. 2) Some commuters suddenly found their ranks relocated to far away places resulting in them congregating along major roads eg second street, samora and mbudzi roundabout where combis follow them, creating the prefect scenario for clamping and using spikes. NO ONE IS THINKING ABOUT WIDENING ROADS OR CREATING EXTRA RANKS.

    • Observer #2

      You are spot on Mr Observer.

      The volume of traffic has increased many fold since independence yet the parking space and ranks remain the same which is the major cause of these double parkings and so on. With sanctions and the economic meltdown where the hell does council think we will get those sums of money – both private vehicles and commuter owners.

      The holding bay is already a white elephant before its even commissioned, why, because someone failed to plan and consult widely and now that someone is turning to the easiest way which is cash collection from people who in no way induced the lack of planning on the part of council. They must be busy building parking parkades and kombi ranks out of the funds they are collecting from parking and kombi rank fees.

      Am sure a Zanu PF minister of local government is going to turn this project down. It is a project against the people and against the dictates of indigenisation and empowerment because it is a sure way of retrenching all the kombi drivers and conductors as well as dipping council hands into pockets of already poor workers.

  • Mai We

    These guys are more focused on revenue collection than on improving the Sunshine City. It seems that Soccer is no longer the national passtime, it is now Kolekta ma Dorra !!

  • sox

    423….

  • Mwenewazvo wekwaMumbire

    Instead of enforcing stringent measures and punitive fines on bad drivers in and around the city…ndo chii ichochi…the cycle track along Leopold Takawira adjacent to Parirenyatwa hospital is being used as a road by combis and other nut head motorists and no one is doing anything about it…Tankers with inflammable liquids roam in broad daylight in the thick of traffic disregarding yo stupid road and sign posts and all you do is talk of bad parking and increasing parking fines…there is real work and monitoring to be done kunze uko iwe Leslie.

  • Candid

    In more civilized communities they charge per hour for parking violations. The fines are hefty. They have more cars than we have but less congestion. We do not want chaos in the city. Let those who are prone to creating confusion pay for the “properly planned city” that they want by paying hefty fines. Harare has no traffic compared to many other cities, only a proliferation of madriver ekutenga malicence. Teach them a lesson by fining them. Isu takabhadhara kufunda driving and parking properly wani.

    • dhehwa72

      Which civilized communities do charge per hour for parking violations? For starters a Park Violation is an offence which can only be resolved by paying a stipulated fine. Hourly charges is mainly reserved for parking charges not fines.

  • Tendekayi Machivenyika

    This is quite a hefty sum of money to pay for wrongly parking a car. While we are calling it inconsiderate, why dont we think about parking our cars properly for a start. The other day we talked about traffic jams in the city centre, one of the causes being the haphazard way people double park their cars, some (private and registered) picking commuters.

  • Dehwa

    This is day light robbery to help fund other services. If tariffs were slashed by GVT City fathers should not counter gvt initiatives by charging such an exorbitant fines to service other needs. You want to fraudulently get money for salaries and hence watch out for corrupt officers.NO TO THIS FINE RISE. Have you asked yourselves how many people in Zim earn that much so it will take 2 months to pay the fine and what of the daily storage charges ABASHA SIKONYONGO

  • shapushuta

    Was there anyone happy to pay the $112 such that you think it was recreational for people to park every where? Where should people park is the question you are skipping? Address that first and see if people will still park willy nilly. Why is it that on a Sunday they dont do the same if its about people behaviour and not circumstances. As we speak the Chinhoyi OneWay is virtually blocked by kombis @ speke terminus and you arent dong anything about it than just going to your offices and increase fines! nxa

  • TAKA

    @shapushuta:disqus @4a44a4004b52582a3e1e7c90debec834:disqus..I agree with guys….It seems our so called City fathers and every other policy maker in this country has a default solution to the many problems we face..LET THE PEOPLE PAY more…what have you done to de-congest the city of the increasing number of vehicles…what have you done to ensure there is adequate parking in city where almost every other service one needs is found there…..Meanwhile while you decide to charge us more…who is accountable for the increased number of times we have to service our vehicles because of your bad roads…we have bad roads no water coming out of our taps no one collecting refuse dirty streets and what is your solution…LET THE PEOPLE PAY MORE…..

  • manyanya

    Kudya zvevapfupi nekureba……