THE proprietor of Bulawayo’s West End Service Station, Ticharwa Tsodzo, has accused Bulawayo City Council (BCC) of driving him out of business by refusing to evict commuter omnibus crews operating close to his premises.
BY NIZBERT MOYO
The kombi crews created a temporary bus terminus along 6th Avenue after the city council closed the eGodini rank about four months ago, to pave way for construction of an upmarket mall and terminus that will cater for regional routes.
Tsodzo told Southern Eye this week that if the situation continues unabated, he could be forced to close his business in the next few months because of poor planning on the part of the local authority.
“My sales went down by 50% since the beginning of this terminus and have continued on a downward trend. I have engaged council since March and they came in the company of officials from the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the transport operators and we all agreed that the situation needed to be treated with all the urgency it deserved,” he said.
“I have escalated my engagements with the local authority after realising that they are reluctant to resolve the matter. The situation is disorganised, a lot of my customers are no longer accessing my garage because of traffic congestion.
“BCC installed kerbs and waiting points, but kombi drivers disregard them. The kombi crews scramble for customers and they end up blocking the way making it impassable as some are also forced to go against this one way so as to load at intersections,” he said.
“The situation is also a potential hazard to the travellers bearing in mind that I am selling fuel and on the other part there is a gas business going on, in case of emergency how does one evacuate people in such a congested area?” Tsodzo said.
Bulawayo mayor, Martin Moyo said he was equally concerned about the situation at 6th Avenue terminus.
“We regret that, it is a town planning matter. It is really bad that 6th Avenue is no longer passable. Very soon we will be asking the town planning department to do something as it is seized with plans of how to solve the issue. Even myself I have experienced it, one cannot easily make his way through 6th Avenue,” he said.