Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has said it is incapacitated to deal with the menace of illegal forex dealers conducting business on parking bays in the Central Business District (CBD) as it does not have arresting powers.
The city has been besieged by illegal forex dealers who have invaded parking areas.
In an interview, Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube said one of the biggest challenges they face in dealing with illegal forex dealers was that they have money and pay for parking tickets, leaving council’s hands tied
“It is really a serious problem in the city. We acknowledge that there are now more vehicles in the city than we had say 20 years ago. However, we have a problem of people doing business from cars and parking all day at particular spots. This is one of the reasons why we have flighted the advert for the parking system tenders so that city parking is better managed,” he said.
Mr Dube said council does not have enough resources to implement some of its plans.
“For instance, where there are no parking signs to indicate or where signs and road markings have completely faded, it becomes difficult to legislate,” he said.
Mr Dube said most forex dealers come as early as 7AM to town and can take an entire block of parking area in certain streets and avenues, forcing some workers to park very far from their workplaces.
“These forex dealers have a lot of money and parking tickets are not a problem to them. The only way to address this problem is to arrest them for conducting business on the streets. Which toilet facilities do they use when they spend the day transacting in cars? The problem is that as local authorities our powers are limited. We need to have arresting powers so that we are able to deal with the vices that are inconveniencing the public,” said Mr Dube.
He said BCC in collaboration with the police were running an operation targeting illicit activities in the city including illegal fuel dealers and unlicensed vendors among others.
“We have embarked on an operation dubbed clean the city and it has been ongoing for the past two weeks where we are collaborating with the police to deal with crimes of all sorts in the city. However, we will not always have ZRP on call all the time,” said Mr Dube.
Bulawayo United Residents’ Association (BURA) Chairperson Mr Winos Dube said the motoring public in the city was being inconvenienced by the menace of forex dealers.
“There are some places in town where you don’t even bother to look for parking. It is an inconvenience but the challenge is that those people who do the business in cars will be having valid parking tickets. It therefore becomes tricky for council to address the problem. We must take this matter back to the national leadership that should craft laws that empower our councils to address such challenges,” he said. — @andile_tshuma