Police in Bulawayo have denied Zapu permission to conduct a march on Monday against the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) over the exorbitant parking fees.
However, the police granted the party the green light to hand over a petition to the local authority.
The vehicle parking management system was introduced by the local authority in partnership with Tendy Three Investments (TTI) and came into effect on February 18, 2022.
Motorists pay between US$1 to US$2 for 30 minutes up to an hour or two, depending on the zone one would have parked at, charges that residents have rejected, seen by the empty parking bays that are deserted across the CBD.
Zapu secretary-general, Mthulisi Hanana told CITE that the party wrote to notify the police on March 16 about their intentions to march to the Bulawayo City Hall on March 21, 2022, against the parking fees in the city and secondly, hand over a petition.
In a letter to police, Hanana said the party leadership would be accompanied by about 200 members and supporters where they would stop at the entrance of the large City Hall for an address by party leaders and residents, before submitting the petition.
“The entire march is designed to be peaceful and in full compliance with your office and will not take more than three hours,” he said.
But in their response, police said the march was not recommended.
“I make reference to a meeting we held with you and other stakeholders on March 18, 2022, from 1030 hours to 1210 hours at Bulawayo Central District Headquarters Southampton building in terms of Section 8 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act Chapter 11:23. The march is not recommended,” said Chief Superintendent N Tembo.
The police advised ZAPU to proceed as agreed in the consultative meeting, which consisted of handing over the petition only.
“You hand over your petition on Monday the 21st of March 2022 at 1030 hours in the company of four others of your choice. Introduce those who would have accompanied you to the Bulawayo City Council Security Officer to allow them access,” said the law enforcers.
The police stressed that it remained Zapu’s duty to make sure that the proceedings were peaceful and not held in contravention of any laws of the country.
BCC entered into a partnership with Tendy Three Investments (TTI) in August last year after Cabinet approved the US$2.2 million vehicle parking management system deal, which was earmarked to run for a period of six years with an option to be extended for a further four years.
Tendy Three investment noted Bulawayo could earn approximately between US$1.1 million and US$1.5 million in revenue, which can be used to rehabilitate the city’s poor road network.