Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Harare City Council’s City Parking marshals’ corruption has hit new levels amid indications that they connive with some motorists to undercharge them in exchange for kickbacks.
Further, the parking marshals are now reportedly in the habit of hiding so that when motorists park their vehicles and go without paying, they quickly clamp it and demand $57 on the spot.
Other marshals do not erase vehicle arrears when motorists pay, and are only informed that the arrears still exist when they move to the next bay.
Worryingly, some motorists have had their vehicles clamped for reportedly parking in bays they would have never parked.
A source at City Parking said the vehicle clamping craze was deliberately designed by the MDC-Alliance-run council to milk citizens of their hard-earned cash so that they can finance the bosses’ lavish lifestyles.
Last Tuesday, a news crew from this publication trapped a female City Parking marshal operating along George Silundika Avenue, opposite Herald House, and offered the team a $5 discount for parking for three hours, only on condition that the crew pays $10 and get a $5 receipt.
Ordinarily, parking for three hours costs $15.
The marshal also promised to protect the car from possible clamping.
An EcoCash payment of $10 was successfully paid to BANC Banc CITY PARKING under reference number 207581, Txn ID MP190828.1404.D43291, but a $5 receipt was issued.
The corrupt activities might be just a tip of an iceberg with more underhand dealings going on around the city, prejudicing the Harare City Council of thousands of dollars in potential revenue.
City Parking public relations manager Mr Francis Mandaza yesterday said the issue should be raised with the customer services department for investigations.
The corrupt tendencies by City Parking marshals comes as the company is under pressure to launch its long overdue mobile application that curbs manipulation by ticketing officials.
The application, which is set to be availed on Android playstore, will make it possible that when one parks a vehicle, there is no need to pay the parking marshal.
It also has a user interface where one can put his or her registration number since the system integrates with various online payment platforms like EcoCash, Telecash, One Wallet and banks.