THE Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) has said the unilateral move by the City of Harare to open a holding bay for public transport operators along Coventry Road is failing to take off the ground as commuter omnibus operators continue to shun the facility.
Council commissioned the project to decongest the central business district and rein in on the traffic lawlessness being propagated by commuter omnibus drivers and touts.
CHRA said it has been closely monitoring the developments and had over the past two days visited the site at various times to assess the situation.
“Today (yesterday) was supposed to be the second day of operations at the bay after it opened its doors for use on Monday,” the residents’ body said in a statement. “However, the situation has remained bleak and hopeless, with no commuter buses using the site for the two-day period to date.”
CHRA said interviews with commuter omnibus operators and residents suggested that council erred in mooting the idea of a holding bay without consulting stakeholders.
Council said the holding bays would be commissioned yesterday, but this did not materialise as the area still has no ablution facilities.
Meanwhile, a Harare commuter omnibus driver who last month ran over a pedestrian as he tried to flee from the police was yesterday slapped with a four-month jail term for reckless driving.
Nongerai Tinotungamirirwa (27) was sentenced on his own plea of guilty to negligent driving and operating a public service vehicle without all the necessary documents as provided for in the Road Traffic Act when he appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe.
His licence was cancelled and he was ordered to pay $500 fine, failure of which he would serve an additional 50 days in prison.
The court heard that the accident victim, Aaron Mamhingaire, is reportedly still recuperating at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Initially, Tinotungamirirwa was sentenced to an eight-month prison term, but four months were then suspended on condition of good behaviour.
The court heard that on July 29 this year, Tinotungamirirwa parked his Toyota Hiace commuter omnibus at the corner of Rezende Street and Robert Mugabe Road intending to pick up passengers at an undesignated point.
Police officers on patrol swooped on his vehicle, prompting him to speed off and hitting Manhingaire in the process.
After the accident, Tinotungamirirwa fled the scene but witnesses took down his vehicle registration numbers and reported the matter to police, leading to his arrest.
Police later discovered that he did not have a valid defensive driver’s licence, medical endorsement and had no certificates of re-test as required by law.