By Alois Vinga
HARARE City Parking has been given a 24-hour ultimatum by a local law firm to reverse its increase in parking fees in the central business district or face legal action.
City Parking announced Wednesday that it was increasing parking fees to US$1 per hour or its equivalent in local currency with effect from this Thursday.
However, the new rates have come as a shock to cash-strapped motorists who feel the magnitude of the increases was unjustified.
Authorities increased street parking to US$1 or ZW$ equivalent per hour at prevailing inter-bank rates. The adjustments are with effect from July 2, 2020.
The decision has also been challenged by Harare lawyers, Mutuso, Taruvinga, and Mhiribidi legal practitioners who have since issued City Parking with a 24-hour ultimatum to reserve the hike or face legal action.
The legal practitioners questioned reasons behind the latest increases.
“We further advise that there is the absence of mandatory consultation with motorists in general and residents in particular coupled with the notice period of a mere 24 hours,” the lawyers wrote to City Parking.
“We accordingly demand that you desist from implementing the new parking tariff as planned on 2nd July 2020, failure which we will take legal action against yourselves without further notice to yourselves.”
However, City Parking public relations manager Francis Mandaza said the new fees were justified because of the inflationary environment in the country.
“We are operating in an inflationary environment and all our suppliers have pegged prices in US dollars. Therefore, as a company, in order to survive, there is a need for us to hedge the value of our parking tariff,” he said.