The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) would like to publicly state that the recent move by the Harare City Council to ban commuter omnibuses from the Central Business District (CBD) is ill-conceived and clearly reveals the lack of consultation of critical stakeholders before decisions that affect the general public are implemented.
The ill-advised move by the council has come with extra costs for commuters who now have to fork out extra money to get into town after being dropped off from far away places such as Rotten Row rank, Coventry Road as well as Coca-Cola along Seke Road.
Besides the extra costs, the move by the council will also result in increased delays of the commuting public as some will be forced to walk long distances into town especially given the current economic situation in the country which has seen the majority living far beyond the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).
CHRA is of the view that an all stakeholders approach that involves council, commuter omnibus associations as well as representatives of Harare residents (and other stakeholders) is ideal as a way of finding a way of regulating traffic flow in the CBD.
Unilateral measures can only result in increased chaos while the general public will be greatly inconvenienced. Decongestion of the city will indeed be welcome but a decision to that effect can only be made after wide consultations with concerned stakeholders have been made.
CHRA is also disturbed by the use of force as a way of compelling commuter omnibus drivers to comply with the council directive.
On Thursday, February 22, 2018 armed police and soldiers were patrolling the CBD while unleashing terror on commuter omnibus drivers who were defying the ill advised council directive to vacate the CBD.
Zimbabwe is not a military state and the move to unleash armed soldiers and police against unarmed civilians seeking to eke a living in a struggling economy must be condemned in the strongest of terms.
CHRA stands in solidarity with other groups, associations as well as the general public seeking to oppose the ill conceived move by the Harare City Council.