People have expressed outrage with Harare City Council’s recent decision to increase the clamping and tow-away fees for illegally parked vehicles and those that violate the city’s traffic regulations. In the 2014 budget and the proposal, council increased the fees from US$112 to US$423 for commuter omnibuses while light motor vehicles would pay US$180 from US$90.
The proposal now awaits approval by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo. Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) spokesperson Mr Ngoni Katsvairo condemned the increase saying it was a fund-raising venture for services that are not delivered.
“They collect US$400 rank fees per vehicle every year despite the fact there are potholes and no sheds. Increasing that money will fuel corruption and increase what our members are forced to pay as bribes to corrupt council police officers when they want to tow our vehicles.
They will get the money and not use it on our industry and that money shows they are against black empowerment. They should tow away pirate taxis and those commuter omnibuses which load at undesignated areas. It is surprising that next to their offices there are pirate taxis which they are not towing away,” he said.
GHACO vice president Mr Dominic Chimombe said they should work on increasing the number of ranks so that congestion can be reduced.
“The number of ranks has not changed since the attainment of independence. They should target undesignated areas and arrest drivers not take the vehicles,” he said.