ZAPU says it is preparing for a protest march in Bulawayo demanding the suspension of Tendy Three Investments (TTI) operations in the city until the concerns of motorists are attended to.
TTI is a company that was contracted by the local authority to manage its vehicle parking system and is charging US$1 per hour, which was revised from US$1 for 30 minutes following a public outcry.
On March 21, ZAPU presented a petition to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to develop a capacity to enforce by-laws and stop punishing residents for their shortcomings.
The mother party argued that charging high fees for the parking system was harsh and did not reflect the city’s prevailing harsh economic realities.
“BCC has written to acknowledge that they indeed received the petition,” said ZAPU Secretary-General, Mthulisi Hanana, but noted their response was “disappointing.”
“Sadly, they also promise to ‘revert with a detailed response in due course.’”
The response, according to Hanana, showed a lack of seriousness by the local authority in addressing residents’ concerns, which prompted the party to initiate a demonstration.
“In our meeting with the Officer Commanding Bulawayo held at Southampton Building on March 18, 2022, and attended by different stakeholders including the City Council, we agreed that if we are not satisfied with the outcome of the Petition, we will have no choice but to stage a People’s Protest at City Hall,” said Hanana.
“We are not satisfied with the outcome as we feel that the City Council is not giving this issue the attention it deserves.”
Hanana said the party was already mobilising people.
“As such we are mobilising the residents of Bulawayo for a people’s protest at City Hall at a date to be advised,” he said.
The ZAPU Secretary-General said the party had one demand: “that the city council suspends the operations of Trendy Three until the people’s concerns are attended to.”
“We thus call upon the progressive residents of Bulawayo and different interest groups who identify with this call to get in touch with our Secretary-General on 0782444020,” he said.
Hanana added that as Bulawayo residents, everyone has a collective duty to defend the city from unfair practices.
“We are coming to City Hall! Amandla ezabelweni/ Masimba kumatunhu (Power to the people,” said Hanana.
The parking system costs have received serious backlash from residents and senior government officials who bemoaned the exorbitant fees forcing the local authority to reduce its charges.
The vehicle parking management system was introduced by the local authority in partnership with TTI and came into effect on February 18, 2022.
BCC entered into a partnership with TTTI in August last year after Cabinet approved the US$2.2 million vehicle parking management system deal, which is earmarked to run for a period of six years with an option to be extended for a further four years.
TTI 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.