Businesses operating along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare have expressed disappointment over the failure by Harare City Council to stop the illegal washing of cars along that road, saying this was not only killing their businesses, but the image of the city.
Some of the affected businesses have since written to council demanding action.
Council has not done anything to address the matter raised three years ago
Touts and vendors have literary camped on parking bays between Samora Machel and Rotten Row and are washing vehicles right in front of shops.
Some of the touts and vendors vandalise pipes to get water which they use to wash the cars, leaving the street in a sorry state.
One of the affected companies tried to engage council for over three years, but no action has been taken.
“They break pipes to access water which they use to wash the cars. Those drums you see over there are full of water from that pipe,” said an affected businessman. “As you can see, they are washing vehicles right in front of our shops and throw the litter everywhere and this part of Samora Machel has become an eyesore. There is no more pride left at City of Harare.”
Communication between some of the businesses and council showed that the problem dates back to 2014.
“Every night, kombis are being washed and cleaned in the parking area in front of our shop,” reads a letter to council from one of the affected companies.
“All rubbish from their vehicles is thrown out onto the road.
“Water from washing the kombis is being obtained from an open water pipe that council has not closed up. The rubbish is flowing down and blocking the drainage system at corner Samora Machel and Harare Street and is now becoming a health hazard. “This is happening daily.”
Council, through the then director of works Engineer Phillip Pfukwa, pledged to address the matter on several occasions, but never did.
On one of the occasions, Eng Pfukwa promised to visit the site.
The Herald news crew yesterday saw several cars being washed along Samora Machel Avenue right in front of shops.
Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme was not in a position to comment over the matter yesterday.