Chamisa tells Mafume to shape up or ship out

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa


Nero reads riot act to councillors over parking chaos

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa on Friday ordered Harare councillors to urgently review parking penalty charges following a public outcry, ZimLive has learnt.

Chamisa stepped in 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 parling 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.

“He was quite animated and angry,” one councillor told ZimLive. “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 said Chamisa told the councillors that whilst he understands the objectives of controlled parking, the local authority had to be receptive to responses by residents.

“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,” the councillor said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not cleared to talk to the media.

Chamisa, ZimLive heard, told the councillors that they had to “immediately fix the problem.”

CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba confirmed Chamisa’s meeting with the councillors.

“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,” Siziba said.

“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 a partnership with the city.

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