High Court compelled to stop “illegal” City of Harare clamping and towing of vehicles

Harare City Council (HCC)’s indiscriminate clamping and towing of vehicles in the Central Business District and outskirts of the city has been challenged City Parking supervisors who insist the actions are illegal.

This comes as City Parking (Pvt) Ltd – a subsidiary company of the City of Harare which is mandated to collect parking fees from motorists – is up in arms with hard-pressed motorists over the clamping blitz currently ongoing in Zimbabwe’s capital.

To this end, five City Parking (Pvt) Ltd supervisors have dragged HCC to the High Court challenging the municipality’s instruction ordering them to clamp and tow away offending vehicles.

The five applicants are Bota Mike, Marwa Shupai, Blessing Duma, Pardon Chifanzwa and Ruth Njerere.

The City Parking supervisors are seeking a court order declaring illegal, null and void Statutory Instrument (SI) 104 of 2005 Harare, which empowers the City of Harare to clamp and tow away vehicles.

 “The resolution by first respondent (City of Harare) of December 13, 2013 empowering the City Parking (Pvt) Ltd marshals to clamp offending vehicles which would be released by the City of Harare Traffic Enforcement Unity, upon payment of the requisite fines and charges, be and is hereby declared null and void to the extent that it is inconsistent with section 4 and 8 as read together with section 4 (1) of SI 104 of 2005,” City Parking supervisors said in their current application,” they five said in their application.

“The present application is for a declaratory and ancillary relief to the following effect that Section 4 (2), 3 and 4 of the Statutory Instrument 104 of 2005 Harare (Clamping and Towing Away) By-Laws (hereinafter referred to as SI 104 of 2005) be and is hereby declared to be ultra vires section 4 and 8 of the Municipal Traffic Laws Enforcement Act.”

They continued“…following the passing of the resolution on 13 December 2013, City of Harare started to unlawfully instruct its employees within the traffic section to clamp offending vehicles first and issue a ticket or notice thereafter.”

The five supervisors said many of their workmates have been convicted of criminal abuse of office charges for enforcing the said by-law after motorists have taken the matter to court.