By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
Gweru residents and motorists were left shocked when the Gweru City Council increased the clamping fees to US$30 from ZWL $45 while the local authority is now charging US$1 for parking fees per hour.
Gweru City Council, through the office of the acting town clerk, released a public notice last week informing residents and motorists of the new development.
“We would like to notify the public that from Friday October 9, our parking fees will be $1 USD or equivalent as per bank rate. Clamping fees will be $30 USD or equivalent as per bank rate (auction rate),” reads the notice.
US$30 converted at the auction rate is about ZWL$2 440. Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said the new fees were implemented by management using a 2017 council resolution when the local currency was still 1:1 with the US dollar.
“I was informed by the management that the development was as a result of the 2017 council resolution. The management said they were implementing it now. This is despite the fact that the exchange rate then was still 1:1 while the situation is now different,” he said.
Clr Makombe said councils will review the clamping fees downwards to suit the prevailing economic situation.
“I have asked the management to shelve the resolution while we review the fees downwards. We know people will not get that huge amount.
We want the fees to go down to about US$5. It is reasonable and affordable.
“We will issue a statement on Monday announcing the new development. We also want to put robust systems in place to ensure that the foreign currency payment facility is not abused and manipulated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has commenced its investigations into the land and stands scandals at Gweru City Council. Clr Makombe said following reports of alleged corruption and mismanagement at Gweru City Council, Zacc was investigating the local authority to ensure that those implicated were brought to book.
Zacc was invited to Gweru after councillors reported to management whom they accused of abusing council resources at the expense of service delivery.
This followed a forensic audit that was conducted at the behest of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works which exposed gross mismanagement and corruption at the local authority. The Sunday News