THE City of Harare has unveiled its $829,86 million supplementary budget which was approved on Tuesday. But the budget comes with its own set of tensions, as clamping and tow away fees were hiked by over 700%.
The budget will see motorists paying ZW$500 up from ZW$40 for wheel clamping fees and ZW$700 up from ZW$60 for tow-away fees.
Motorists interviewed by ZTN today expressed serious reservations.
One motorist said: “The places where vehicles are being clamped are not developed and the council is just collecting money without offering services. The roads are bad and there are puddles of water everywhere. There is no justification their fees.”
A commuter omnibus driver plying the Harare-Goromonzi route voiced his complaint saying: “The new fees are too high and will have a ripple effect on kombi fees. They (Harare City Council) are increasing fees but fail to collect garbage and clean out drains. The city should prioritize garbage collection.”
Meanwhile a taxi driver in the city felt the move was unfair because motorists were already struggling to pay the ZW$57.
He felt that the council should empathize since salaries haven’t gone up despite price increases.
In his budget presentation the chairperson of the Financial and Development Committee, Councilor Luckson Mukunguma defended the hikes saying they were triggered by the prevailing economic conditions.
“The current supplementary budget should not be viewed as an attempt by council to increase tariffs, it is rather an attempt to align to the new economic order given the full implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and the introduction of local currency as the only legal tender,” he said.