New Zimbabwe.com

Harare city council losing millions to free parking government officials

HARARE City Council is losing millions of dollars in potential revenue due to government officers grabbing parking bays in the central business districts and parking their vehicles for free all day.
Parking in the capital is controlled by a joint venture firm established in 2013 between the city council and Easihold Proprietary Limited of South Africa.
But thousands of government vehicles are reportedly parking for free, losing the local authority millions in much-needed cash.
A confidential document seen by NewZimbabwe.com shows that the government is not paying for the 1,600 bays it has grabbed.
“The council is losing about $3.7 million per year as government officials are not paying for the parking bays,” says the report.
“In fact, parking at all government offices in the central business district is not being paid for.”
There have also been claims that council established a private company, City Park, to control parking bays down town.
However revenue from the venture was allegedly going into private bank accounts.
“There is need to look back at the time when the six council departments were (split) into what (were) called strategic business units (SBUs).
“This led to privately controlled bank accounts being opened to transact business from the created business units,” reads the document.
All bank accounts were controlled by the former town clerk, Tendai Mahachi, with the city treasurer removed as one of the signatory, the document adds.
A councillor who spoke to this publication said money from these activities may have been channelled to support activities of the ruling Zanu PF party.
“The removal of Mahachi will open a can worms,” said the councillor.
“Residents will soon know that council may have been failing on issues of service delivery because money or joint venture dividends were being channelled towards individuals or political party activities.”
Mahachi was first suspended by Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni on in July this year for insubordination and allegedly blocking salary cuts for overpaid executives.
He was fired a month later by a special council meeting. Negotiations for his exit benefits are continuing.Advertisement