Harare City Council must stop lying
By Bishop Happison Chikova
Today, I am forced to respond to the Herald story with the headline ‘Harare concedes it’s illegal to hold clamped cars’. When people who are prevailing over a system become serial liars, then the nation suffers.
There is no nation that can survive on lies and thrive.
It is not true that impounded vehicles are held for 14 days / a month at the central stores after being clamped and before the owner can claim it because the law enforcement agents including police, ZIMRA and ZINARA will be vetting the car.
Physical vetting that is done by the law enforcement agents doesn’t take more than 30 minutes. If ZIMRA and ZINARA take a month to vet a single vehicle, then the budget for the nation will remain at $4.1 billion for decades to come.
The inspection and vetting is done physically without any sophisticated machine therefore these lies don’t add anything to the public but disappointment and frustration.
If there was a thorough inspection and vetting by the law inspection agents, no vehicle would have been released because being at Mshika-shika is a sign of lack of fitness.
If the inspection agents take a month to vet a vehicle, therefore the system is inefficient and ineffective therefore requires a complete overhaul.
The number of days was raised from 3 days to 14 days in 2014 by the Harare city traffic department as a way to raise revenue for the city to pay salaries. It is unfortunate that the revenue is used to pay city chef’s hefty salaries with the Harare Residents Trust reporting recently in its press statement that the Town Clerk is paid $39,500.
According to the Residents Trust statistics, the city traffic will have to impound 165 vehicles for 14 days to pay for the City’s admin- boss. The public is also aware that the more the fines are increased; the high the level of bribe is paid to the city traffic police which is at $80 per impounded vehicle.
If it is not the fault of the public and if it is the system’s inefficiency, why should the residents pay for that negligence? Is the council going to reimburse the victim of this system? If impounding vehicles for 14 days is illegal, the public must team up and sue the council and demand reimbursement.
The traffic operators whose vehicles are being impounded must organise a demonstration to send a clear message to the Harare city Council so that they can call for order.
I am sure that the only language that these people can understand better is a demonstration. I am also urging all the people who failed to pay for the illegal 14 days period to go and collect their vehicles at central stores.
Bishop Happison Chikova is the Secretary General of The African Democratic Party