BY BRENNA MATENDERE
GWERU City Council is fretting over leakages of parking fees revenue and has resolved to adopt an automated parking system.
A heated debate about the paltry collections being remitted by council finance staffers who use a manual ticketing system dominated the local authority’s full council meeting on January 7.
Minutes show that Ward 10 councillor and immediate past mayor, Charles Chikozho, raised the issue of an automated parking system.
“The best way of plugging the revenue leaks from the parking fees is to implement the standing resolution that we made in the previous council for us to introduce an automated parking system in the city. That way, all payments will be done in an electronic way and it also unlocks congestion in the CBD by freeing up parking space,” Chikozho said.
The city council finance department employees are accused of charging motorists less for parking and do not issue out tickets, converting the money to personal use.
Deputy mayor Cleopas Shiri yesterday confirmed to Southern Eye that the automated parking system would soon be implemented in Gweru.
“Yes, the issue of setting up the automated parking system is in the pipeline. The gadgets must come in to plug the revenue leaks. We are getting low money inflows from the finance department employees who are responsible for collecting parking fees in town. What they are remitting to council say in a month is actually lower than their salaries meaning council is making a loss not profit,” Shiri said.
Cornelia Selipiwe, the Gweru Residents and Ratepayers’ Association director, said the move would be progressive, but reiterated that the city fathers themselves should help save money by cutting down expenditure such as out of town trips.
“As residents we appreciate and welcome any move that seeks to plug revenue leakages, not only should they look at parking fees but they (councillors) should also limit unnecessary trips which milk the council of the already scarce revenue,” he said.