Harare City Council’s parking subsidiary, City Parking has reported a $20 000 loss for the six mnths to June this year, which it blames on political disturbances before the July 30 elections and lack of arresting powers on motorists flouting city by-laws.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
“During the period the company failed to contain expenditure within budget which was at 9% above budgeted figure of $3 468 584. This was mainly due to increases in prices charged by suppliers,” council’s financial report read.
The local authority established City Parking (Pvt) Ltd to manage its parking business in the city centre and has a workforce of 536 employees.
“The company’s performance was negatively affected by the economic challenges as well as the operational challenges as outlined below: cash shortages resultant in three-tier pricing system which culminated into inflation, thereby reducing the disposable income of motorists. Election-inspired demonstrations and invasions of parking bays and parking lots by street vendors,” the report stated.
According to statistics availed, street parking generated $3 million while the Parkade unit generated $680 000 and had cost of sales pegged at $2 million. Its operating expenses were pegged at $1 million, leaving the group with a net deficit of $25 000 before tax.
“The overall revenue collection for period stood at $3,7 million against a target budget of $3,6 million. But during the period under review, the company failed to contain expenditure within the budget. The total expenditure was at $3 791 190, creating a negative variance of $322 606,” the report stated.
Another city business unit that performed below expectation was Harare Quarry which was 84% below budget largely due to lack of capital and resources. Council is also in joint venture deals with various groups that include Augur Investment, Shawasha Business Complex and the Belvedere Estate Development. In all these, council was not getting any dividend.
Meanwhile, Harare City Council has recommended that the Local Government Board dismiss two directors who were suspended last year on allegations of abusing funds.
Human capital director, Cainos Chingombe and finance director, Tendai Kwenda were suspended last December with former acting town clerk Josephine Ncube and health services director, Prosper Chonzi.
After a closed door meeting last Thursday, council resolved that the two be relieved of their duties while Ncube who was reportedly ill, be referred to a medical board for examination and a suitable decision made in that regard.
Council sources said the two were found guilty by the disciplinary committee which was appointed by former mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni.
“Ncube did not attend the hearings due to health issues. She is said to be ill and her case has been referred to a health board. Most probably, she will be retired on health grounds while Chonzi has not yet appeared before the hearing committee, so he remains suspended,” an official said.
Harare mayor Herbert Gomba refused to comment on the matter, referring questions to his deputy Enock Mupamawonde who could not be reached for comment.