Harare City Council has resolved to terminate its joint venture with a South African company behind Easipark, which has been managing motor vehicle parking in the central business district (CBD) since early this year.
Easipark has been locked in a bitter wrangle with the local authority over a number of issues, including revenue.
On Thursday, a full council meeting resolved that the differences between council and the company had become irreconcialable and the only way “was divorce”.
The councillors accused Easipark of insincerity and failing to remit agreed funds to the local authority.
Resolutions approved by the meeting said town clerk Tendai Mahachi and chamber secretary Josephine Ncube should take the necessary action to terminate the joint venture agreement.
Councillors who spoke during the meeting said nothing should stop the divorce as the relationship was not working.
“If we agree to terminate this like what (Councillor Panganai) Charumbira said, it’s a divorce,” said Councillor Friday Muleya from Mbare.
“The arbitration is something else. We have terminated this, we have divorced and if that is the resolution, we have to follow it.”
Councillors told Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda that he had to accept the decision the business committee had taken arguing he shouldn’t be used as a “whip against us”.
The South African firm and Harare had entered into a joint venture to run the parking business in the CBD.
The deal involved installation of vehicle control equipment at council’s two parking lots along Julius Nyerere Way and Samora Machel Avenue as well as Fourth Street parking lots.
“The works were supposed to have been completed in January 2010,” reads part of the business committee’s minutes.
“On progress made to date, the shareholders’ agreement had not been signed to date.
“The town clerk reported that the attitude of Easihold showed their unwillingness to finalise the shareholders’ agreement where the city was supposed to be the major shareholder with 60%.”
The committee noted that council was not realising any profits from the joint venture and in view of that and many other factors, the committee felt it was in the best interest of council to terminate the joint venture agreement.
The committee reported that it was not happy with the day-to-day running of Easipark and that the city had not received income from the joint venture.
Easipark had also become a source of discomfort for motorists who are forking out $1 per hour, an amount they said was exorbitant.