Home » Governance » Council Splashes U.S $500 000 On White Elephant

Harare City Council wasted $500 000 on the construction of a commuter omnibus holding bay at the corner of Coventry and Rotten Row Roads, which has since turned into a white elephant as grass is already growing on it. The structure does not have sheds and the council has reportedly failed to move kombis there.

The holding bay, which was constructed to help de-congest the city, centre was completed last year but up to now it is lying idle. The city traffic system has been chaotic and some of the accidents caused by kombi drivers running away from the police, have turned fatal.

The holding bay was expected to hold kombis plying the western suburbs routes and part of the north-western suburbs.

Under the system, commuter omnibuses were supposed to drop off passengers in the city and proceed to the holding bay as part of the city’s drive to de-congest the CBD.

Radio systems were to be used to control the movements of kombis between the holding bay and the ranks.

Council said it would punish kombi crews who resist the new arrangement.

Urban Commuter Operators of Zimbabwe president Mr Simbarashe Ngarande, said council should engage kombi operators to find a lasting solution to the traffic chaos instead of coming up with programmes without consulting.

“We are losing a lot of money to council through fines, council should consult us so that we can find a lasting solution to the traffic problems. We cannot keep blaming police when the city does not have any modalities to make sure rules and regulations are followed. Yes, holding bays are needed but the million dollar question is who is going to control the movement of kombis?” he asked.

Harare Residents Trust director, Mr Precious Shumba, said the place to accommodate the kombis was too small to have cost $500 000.

“Residents do not receive receipts from council, they cannot tell residents that they used $500 000 to buy quarry dust, tar and the demarcaters and that was wastage of ratepayers money. We need them to be accountable,” he said.

Harare mayor Councillor Bernard Manyeneni, yesterday said although they feared resistance, council had made no effort to make the kombi operators use the holding bay. “Nothing has been done so far in terms of telling commuter omnibuses to use the holding bay so we cannot really blame them. This whole parking bay issue has to be properly managed. I think it is still very much work in progress.”

Source : The Herald