Chamisa Orders Harare Councillors To Immediately Review Parking Penalty Charges
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa on Friday ordered Harare councillors to immediately review the parking penalty charges following a public outcry.
Chamisa’s directive came after the local authority refused to back down on its US$132 penalty charge for failing to display a valid parking ticket worth US$1 per hour.
In a revision of the policy earlier Friday, the local authority said a motorist who has not bought a parking ticket would be given a 30-minute grace period before clamping, while those whose tickets have expired would be given an hour’s grace period.
Motorists have complained the US$132 release fee for clamped vehicles is wildly disproportionate to the offence.
The CCC is the majority party in Harare and Chamisa summoned all the party’s councillors including mayor Jacob Mafume for a meeting on Friday.
The meeting was closed to reporters, but councillors who attended said the CCC leader was “angry” and fell short of telling the councillors they may not represent the party in future if the policy stands. ZimLive quotes an anonymous councillor as saying:
He was quite animated and angry. He said the penalty fees were akin to overtaxing and overburdening the poor, and told us to choose whether we want to be with citizens or against citizens.
Another councillor is cited as saying Chamisa told the councillors to review the parking penalty charges adding that the existence of bylaws supporting the charges was no excuse. The councillor said:
He said the bylaws may have been there for years but insisted that this did not justify their existence. He said we took over the council to change things and not to maintain the old order.
ZimLive was told that Chamisa told the councillors that they had to “immediately fix the problem.”
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba confirmed Chamisa’s meeting with the councillors. Siziba said:
The president expects the councillors to meet as a matter of urgency and pass a resolution to correct the issues that have been highlighted by residents. The CCC must always be pro-poor, pro-citizens and place citizens before profit. That was the president’s message to the councillors.
Local government minister July Moyo has appointed a committee to look into the parking system in Harare which is operated by a company called City Parking in partnership with the city.