In a move reminiscent of Robert Mugabe’s government the City of Harare authorities decided to ban kombies from the CBD. They did this without consulting anyone let alone residents who would have been the most affected.

Their callous solution

Commuters were being dropped out of town yesterday at “ranks” like the one along Seke road. Some of these ranks have are not yet even completely constructed at all. Shuttle buses charging $0.30 were supposed to ferry passengers into town from these designated points.

This is the council answer to the congestion problem in the CDB! Worse people were not consulted nor was there even adequate warning. Most people expressed suprise at this stupid and heartless move. Private cars, which are the chief cause of congestion were not affected presumably because this would have prevented the spoiled council members from going about their business in town.

Government steps in

The Minister of Local Government July Moyo swiftly moved in to rescind the order:

My directive has been issued in light of the fact that the Council’s decision and action are not in the interest of inhabitants of the Council Area and the Harare Metropolitan Province, to the extent that they hinder free travel by tourists and the general public, and injure the general national and public interest.

According to the law he has the power to do this especially when a council bylaw is clearly idiotic. So for now at least kombies get to continue to use their old routes.

There is still need to solve the congestion problem

The congestion problem is not yet resolved and whatever solution is implemented is going to be unpopular. Other cities in the world have banned private cars from the CBD, others have hiked parking fees and created car parkades on their outskirts. It remains to b seen what Harare City council chooses.