HARARE City Council is set to auction at least 142 vehicles impounded for violating traffic laws and never claimed by their owners who would have to pay fines and charges to get them back.
The municipal yesterday published a list of all unclaimed impounded vehicles that have overstayed in the City of Harare Central Stores yard and issued a 30-day ultimatum before the vehicles are auctioned off. Some of the vehicles that remain unclaimed were impounded between 2013 and 2016.
Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes Benz and Land Rovers are among the vehicles on the municipal list.
Municipal traffic police have of late been cracking down hard on illegally parked cars and those spotted picking up passengers at undesignated pick-up points. Most impounded or towed away cars are quickly reclaimed by their owners, but there is a growing list of those that seem to have been abandoned.
HCC yesterday issued a final warning saying that all unclaimed vehicles would be auctioned off in terms of the Harare (Clamping and Tow Away) by Laws of 2005 as amended. Owners have to go to City of Harare Central Stores at 2 Coventry Road Workington within 30 days from the first publication of the notice. Those remaining after 30 days will be sold by public auction “to defray expenses”.
Harare City Council was recently forced to slash its parking fines following an outcry from motorists, who felt that the charges by the local authority were not justified.
The council which is experiencing liquidity crunch is being accused of turning motorists into its “cash cow” to replenish its drying coffers, using parking charges, and especially fines as a major source of income.
A traffic offender is now expected to pay a fine ranging from US$57 up to US$120 or equivalent and once a vehicle has been clamped and towed away, storage fee accumulates per day depending on the size of the vehicle.