HARARE – Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has complained of financial leakages in the management of Harare City Council’s (HCC) City Parking business.
Briefing parliamentarians on the rot in local authorities recently, Kasukuwere said the huge sums collected in parking fees in the Harare CBD were not properly accounted for.
When the City Parking project — charging each car $1 per hour — was commissioned way back in 2009, HCC had contracted South African firm Easipark to manage the business, and it was paying a $40 000 monthly dividend.
“There is an issue regarding the Sunshine City (Harare). We want the parking spaces in Harare to be audited. No one knows how much money is being paid,” Kasukuwere said, adding “hospitals and clinics are paying but it is not known where the money is going”.
“If you touch on such issues, it will appear as if you are stirring the hornet’s nest, but this is the truth of the matter. The leaders that are in council even tell you that minister this issue is difficult. We do not know whether it ends with the leaders of the council or the party,” he said, as he further emphasised that “there are leakages in terms of finances”.
City Parking marketing manager Francis Mandaza said when Easipark’s contract was terminated, the former took over administration and operations.
“While financial information pertaining to our daily collections may not be discussable here, HCC is our sole shareholder and they get dividend regularly,” he said.
Kasukuwere’s concerns with City Parking come a year after he once suspended Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni over allegations of failing to conduct an audit of the local authorities’ business ventures, including City Parking.
According to details of the suspension, Kasukuwere had written to Auditor-General Mildred Chiri seeking guidance on the appointment of auditors for the job.
The successful audit firm Price Waterhouse Coopers were supposed to have started their audit on April 11, 2016, but the process was aborted following concerns raised by the Harare Sunshine Holdings chairperson Percy Toriro.
Toriro argued that City Parking was independent of HCC authority and there was no council resolution to support the audit.