THE Harare City Council has defended its position to hike charges for clamping and towing of vehicles by a staggering 1 000 percent in its supplementary budget approved last Thursday.
Motorists are now paying $500 for wheel-clamping fees for light vehicles, up from $40. Tow-away fees have been raised from $60 to $700.
While presenting oral evidence to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on Tuesday morning, City of Harare finance director, Stanley Ndemera said
that the new fees were “optional”.
“One should not worry about what they are going to pay after deliberately breaking the law,” said Ndemera.
“The idea of these is to bring order in the city where we all now know there is just too much congestion. It’s optional, one can simply choose to pay that fee or comply with by-laws,” he insisted.
However, the legislators in the committee argued with Ndemera, saying council is not doing enough to bring awareness to citizens.
They added that some of the most affected people will be those who will not be residing in Harare and are not aware of the new developments.
Ndemera agreed with the parliamentarians on their observations.
“We have been enriched by the suggestions you are raising. We need to carry out awareness campaigns to ensure that people are really aware of what is going on,” he highlighted.
Meanwhile, Mr Ndemera said council has since stopped working in partnership with private companies regarding the collection of parking fees and towing services, adding that council was not deriving
significant benefits from such ventures.