Lawyer fights against US$1 parking fee
CITY Parking has increased its hourly fees in the Central Business District (CBD) and periphery areas in Harare from ZWL$20 to US$1 or its equivalent in local currency.
The tariff hike comes barely a month after the parking fees were increased by 100 percent.
In an interview with Zim Community News, City Parking public relations manager Francis Mandaza said the increase was precipitated by the inflationary environment.
“We have reviewed our parking tariff to US$1 per hour or the ZWL$ weighted average equivalent.
“This is a result of the need to cushion ourselves against rising operational costs which now pegged in USD,” he said.
However, Harare lawyer Munyaradzi Bwanya has written to City Parking director, Simon Muzviyo and Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba objecting to the new fees citing the example of civil servants’ ability to pay.
A civil servant who works at the High Court in the Central Business District of Harare who commences work and 0800hrs and finishes at 1630hrs for five days a week is obliged to budget, for parking alone, about US$40 per week or USD160 per month.
“We also note that the official (weighted average) exchange rate to the US dollar as at 30th June was 63.67442 (per RBZ FX02/2020).
“In brief, your increment possibly means those who work and park in town must budget the gross figure of about RTGS 10,187.90 per month.
“Given your expectation for payment of such amounts, we are left to wonder what kind of salaries you are paying your employees and in what currency,” Bwanya said.
He advised that both the extent of the increment and the manner in which it was done is unlawful, unreasonable and unfair.
“While it is common cause that you are a private (for profit) company, we advise that in the exercise of your contractual interactions with the public, you are in fact exercising delegated public functions of Harare City Council and suffer the same limitations that are binding on it, morally and legally,” reads part of his notice.
Bwanya urged City Parking to exercise its delegated functions in the public interest due to the prevailing economic conditions.
He said failure by the company to act in the public interest then both the Harare City Council and Parliament must intervene in terms of their constitutional mandates.