Harare City Mayor Mafume reads riot act to City Parking officials as pressure mounts on CCC led council

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By Darlington Gatsi

HARARE City mayor, Jacob Mafume,  Monday called City Parking and municipal traffic enforcement officials to order over clamping mayhem that gripped the capital last week.

Harare City Parking came under scrutiny for their heavy handedness with motorists over parking and clamping fees.

Motorists clashed with City Parking officers after some motor vehicles were arbitrarily clamped with videos circulating on social media of some in fist fights with the enforcement agents.

After being clamped for failing to pay arrears motorists were requested to pay US$132 by City Parking.

Mafume addressed city parking and municipal traffic enforcement officials in Harare telling them to be lenient with motorists.

“What we are going to do, people are saying yes I would have committed an offense, but the clamping charge and the towing charge are too much. We will delay the clamping charge so that if you pay your fine within the stipulated period then the charge for clamping will not accrue. People have complained that the fine is too much.

“We must not twist those best practices so that they become evil to the people whom we are serving. So that is the summary of what we needed to understand and what I needed to address to you so that at least we do not want to have to descend on people. We do not want those videos where there are fights,” said Mafume.

In a frenzy City parking officers landed the town house in soup after they erroneously impounded human rights lawyers’ vehicle last week.

The chaos in Harare prompted minister of local government July Moyo to appoint a committee to probe City Parking operations.

Facing political pressure, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), which runs Harare City Council, reportedly held a meeting with councillors as Nelson Chamisa instructed city fathers to resolve the chaos.

“I think these measures as I have articulated them are understandable. So that at least we have a difference in attitude and a difference in terms of quality of service that we are giving to the people and also the cost effectiveness of that service. We do not want people to go to that era where they think they are walking criminals,”  Mafume told City parking officers.