Zanu PF petitions council over vehicle parking deal

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BY SILAS NKALA/STEPHEN CHADENGA
THE ruling Zanu PF party has petitioned the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) demanding clarity on how South African company, Tendy Three Investment (TTI) was awarded the tender to manage vehicle parking services in the city.

This followed another petition last week by the opposition Zapu, which demanded that the US$1 per hour parking charge be reduced as it was beyond the reach of most motorists.

Council recently awarded TTI a US$2 million tender for vehicle parking management.

The deal, which is under a build operate and transfer will see council benefiting 30% from the proceeds, while TTI retains 70%.  Residents said they felt the deal favoured the private contractor.

In a letter dated March 28, addressed to town clerk Christopher Dube, Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Archibold Chiponda said:  “We feel that the partnership is detrimental to the development of Bulawayo both economically and socially. In addition, we question whether the technology or value addition being offered by the foreign company is so unique that BCC could not identify a capable local company or better still carry out the project itself.”

“In total, over a period of six years TTI stands to make a potential net profit of US$4 420 080, in comparison to US$941 760 for BCC.”

“As Zanu PF, we find this grossly unacceptable. An individual employed within the CBD will part with at least US$100 per month in parking fees, severely eroding their income. Some businesses have already noticed the trend of falling revenues since the introduction of the parking system. Furthermore, the added cost of parking adds US$0,50c premium to any goods or services purchased from companies operating within the CBD as consumers will be forced to pay to park in order to consume those goods and services.”

Efforts to get a comment from the BCC were fruitless yesterday.

In a related development, Gweru City Parking, a private company engaged by council last year to manage the city’s vehicle parking business has hiked fees from $120 to $180 per hour with effect from April 1.

Motorists accused the company of increasing parking fees without consulting stakeholders.

“We had an increase in October last year and then another one in January this year, and now this one,” Gweru resident James Chiseko said.

“Now just after three months we have another increase and as motorists we wonder if these people consider our plight.”

A motorist Faith Moyo said the company needed to consult before effecting “arbitrary hikes.”

Last year, former Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe said council received $4,5 million in dividendsfrom parking revenue generated between July and September 2021.

Residents said the local authority should have revealed how much it was generating from parking fees before engaging the private company.

Last year, Gweru City Council partnered with Gweru City Parking Private Limited in rolling out an automated prepaid parking system to replace the old manual system that had long been condemned by both motorists and residents as open to abuse.

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