City of Harare to temporarily close Roadport

08 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
City of Harare to temporarily close Roadport

The Herald

Blessings Chidakwa
Municipal Reporter
City stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings over Harare City Council’s decision to temporarily shut down the city’s cross border bus terminus, Roadport, as the local authority tries to resolve a stand-off with the current operators.

Council’s capacity to operate the terminus has been questioned as most of its termini are in a poor state following years of neglect, although the local authority has been collecting revenue from the use of the facilities.

Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba said council should not rush to repossess Roadport from the company currently running the facility.

“It is currently being run in a very professional manner. If the council believes that they have the capacity to run the Roadport, they should finish incomplete bus termini at Rhodesville, the Colcom Holding Bay and the National Sports Stadium and put in place a similar or better system than Roadport.

“Allowing the current administrator to run it gives the City of Harare the opportunity to focus on other key infrastructure development projects. Bringing in private partners helps the ratepayers in the long run,” he said.

Mr Shumba said council should continue having private-public partnerships in infrastructure development and seriously consider offering the company that built it another five years to run the facility.

“In reviewing it, the council needs to provide the ratepayers with an income and expenditure account of the whole project so that they demonstrate that they can be transparent on revenues generated from such projects.

“A build-operate and transfer development model is one of the most beneficial models that can spur infrastructure development by the City of Harare,” he said.

Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust head Mr Shepherd Chikomba said if the city officials were to improve the standards and make the place safer and cleaner, then it would be a good idea. “But if they are to go the Mbare Bus terminus way and let it dilapidate, its better to look for other private partners or leave the player who was there to continue handling the place,” he said.

“With the corruption at Harare City Council you are rest assured that nothing will come out just like the holding bay at Colcom and the Warren park bus terminus. They all have been turned into white elephants. We are worried by the kind of decisions being taken by the city fathers who are only thinking of avenues to fatten their pockets.”

Acting Harare mayor Councillor Musarurwa Stewart Mutizwa said council resolved to go back to the drawing board and review the agreement following the lapsing of the Built Operate Transfer period.

“In the meantime since the issue with Roadport (Pvt) Ltd is before the courts, we agreed to say let it be emptied for now,” he said. Roadport (Pvt) Ltd executive, Mrs Ruth Mugweni refused to be drawn into the matter.

“I cannot comment on the issue,” she said.

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