Harare's upmarket residents resist bus ranks

HARARE - Harare’s upmarket residents are resisting council’s move to establish bus ranks in their plush neighbourhoods.

The residents — mainly from Hillside and Eastlea — are arguing that the local authority did not consult them, while the buses, touts and passengers will become a menace in the serene areas, resulting in loss of their properties’ value.

Council intends to construct the ranks as part of efforts to decongest the busy and clogged Harare CBD.

The decision was prompted by many accidents, including that of an elderly man who was killed by conductors at the illegal Fourth Street rank while trying to board a bus to Mutare.

But residents are fiercely against the plan.

Siani Boo said: “Town planers should have taken into consideration the fact that the area is a wetland.

“What happens when all the rubbish from littering and people urinating around the place is washed away by the rains and seeps in to the underground streams?

“They need to think further than the profits that are to be gained.”

Another resident, Alison Albrish, complained that the rank could negatively affect the value of properties in the Hillside and Eastlea area.

John Maseko, another resident, said council must immediately stop the construction as it will only cause more chaos than ease the problem.

“Such a significant and impactful project should have been done after thorough consultations with the residents but nothing of that sort happened.

“Not only will our properties devalue but it will also cause chaos at the nearby Rhodesville Police Station but also Mukuvisi Woodlands,” he said.

Julia Pierini, of Wetlands Harare, told the Daily News that council has over the years indiscriminately allowed the destruction of wetlands at the detriment of residents.

Pierini said if the city continues construction work at Rhodesvile and the National Sports Stadium, Harare’s underground water reservoirs could soon completely dry up.

“The city council is acting illegally because even at law, wetlands such as the one near Rhodesville are clearly marked to be left alone.

“If this goes unchecked our aquifers will dry up and Harare will no longer have any more underground water,” she said.

Pierini added that council should look beyond the prospects of making money because if there is no water, no one will want to invest in Harare. 

Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni met with the Eastlea residents and told them that the construction works being undertaken were beyond him as he could not effect changes.

“I have no executive powers to stop the construction of the bus rank, however, I urge the residents to take the legal route to stop the construction and subsequent destruction of the wetlands,” he said.

Council also earmarked to construct a terminus opposite Parirenyatwa Hospital businesses and residents nearby petitioned against the move.

Comments (1)

If they dont want to stay near the ranks then they should relocate. who cares

G40 - 10 November 2017

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