18 January 2017
The Harare City Council wasted its much needed revenue and time by constructing the Coventry Road holding bay after commuter omnibus crews ditched the facility to operate from illegal ranks.
A visit to the holding bay showed that it’s now a white elephant and the only life there is the ever growing grass that has been left unchecked.
When the holding bay was opened back in 2014, council officials spoke glowingly about the facility, saying they were going to once and for all deal with illegal ranks and congestion in the central business district.
But alas, chaos is still the order of the day while the holding bay is now an eyesore.
What is more worrying is that the Harare City Council plans to construct more holding bays, meaning more money will be put to waste.
It was said that the “additional holding bays will cater for kombis that use the Charge Office and Fourth Street Bus Ranks.”
Commuter omnibus crews said they will not use the rank because they had been losing out on clients whilst their colleagues are cashing in.
“We used to go there but we saw that it was not longer viable for business, we saw that it’s not helping in any way.
“Because mudhara wakaranker uko kuna Coventry, team imwe inenge ichitoita mari,” said one conductor who declined to be named.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Chamu who plies the Warren Park-City route who said “mudhara mushikashika ndiwo uri kubhadhara, saka hapana hapana, better I make money than kunomiswa uko.”
This comes at a time it has been revealed that there are only six legal ranks in Harare central business district which makes the rest illegal.
Regina Bakuri, Senior Community Coordinator at the Harare Residents Trust speaking on the holding bay said council had prioritised wrongly on the issue.
“I think we shall have a problem because you are not prioritising the real issues which as council you should look at.
“Right now look at issues to do with the holding bay which you constructed – there hasn’t been much that has happened there.
“Right now you see that thing is not serving much purpose because the
majority of the kombis are not even using that site.
“We still have a lot of kombis using undesignated points yet you used so much money on that.
“I think your thrust should main be on the issues to do with things that directly affect residents, like issues to do with water and sanitation.
“But you concentrate resources and time on issues to do with congestion in the central business district, but that is not a direct concern for residents, residents want service delivery, they want to have issues to do with water addressed.
“Right now you are not getting much money from this site yet you used so much money on the construction.
“This money could have been used for more important issues which affect residents not this congestion issue,” said Regina.
LEGAL COMMUTER OMNIBUS RANKS
Simon Muzenda Rank (Fourth Street)
Speke Avenue (Copacabana)
Rezende North – Parkade rank
Fife Avenue/Second Street Extension
Chinhoyi Road from Samora Machel to Charter Road
Samora Machel – from Showground to Eighth Avenue
Robert Mugabe from Harare Street to Enterprise only rank between Fifth and Enterprise Road is approved as on street rank.
Leopold Takawira – from Cleveland to Herbert Chitepo
Mbuya Nehanda – from Kwame Nkrumah to Charter
Albion – from Kaguvi to Takawira
Cameron – Jason Moyo to Magaba Flyover bridge Mbare
Sam Nujoma – NSSA Julius Nyerere to Tongogara
Julius Nyerere – NSSA House to Coca Cola through Flyover Bridge – Seke Road
Mandela – Harare Street to Julius Nyerere Way
Park Street – between Jason Moyo and Samora Machel
Park Lane – Harare Street to Leopold Takawira
Kwame Nkrumah – between Harare Street – Takawira
Angwa Street – Robert Mugabe and Jason Moyo
Fifth Street – between R. Mugabe – George Silundika 1
Charter – between Julius Nyerere flyover towards ZBC.
Rezende South – between Robert Mugabe and Abercorn
Bank Street – from Harare Street – J. Nyerere Way
Jason Moyo – Simon Muzenda (4th) to Harare Street