25 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Council Lists Compliant Car Sales

HARARE City Council yesterday published names of 58 registered car sales and parking garages operating in the city and warned those not on the list to cease operations or face eviction.

There are over 200 car sales operating in the city, but it has emerged that only the 58 were approved by the council and validated through issuance of leases.

The illegal operations of the car sales have led to the city closing the valuation and licencing department and suspending all workers in the department.

The workers are facing disciplinary hearings on allegations of corruptly allocating land to the car sales.

The publishing of the legal car sales followed a directive by Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo.

Minister Chombo has also ordered that the city removes all the illegal car sales at least by December 31.

The 58 registered car sales are scattered in different parts of the city.

This has come amidst council decision to demolish illegal car sales and garages, while those re-erecting the structures will be prosecuted.

Some illegal car sales around the city were demolished ahead of the December 31 deadline set by Government.

Most of the demolished structures are along Enterprise Road, Mutare Road and Prince Edward Road.

Government issued the directive after it emerged that only one car sale out of the 200 dotted around Harare was licensed.

Council spokesperson Mr Leslie Gwindi recently said by December 31, all illegal car sales would have been pulled down by the municipal authorities.

Mr Gwindi said that the door was still open for car dealers to regularise their operations.

Harare Mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda last week said some car dealers were conniving with district officials to acquire land illegally.

He said an application by anyone for land should go through various standing committees like land development, education, health and housing.

The crackdown on the illegal car sales has unmasked cases of suspected corruption within council's evaluation department with some dealers saying they paid money to council officials for the sites.

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