The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Sunday News Reporter
CONDEMNED for high parking fees, Trendy Three Investments (Pvt) seems to continue giving Bulawayo motorists a hard time as they are said to be taking more than three hours to unclamp a car in the Central Business District that would have paid the vehicle clamping fee.
The South African company, TTI which manages the city’s vehicle management parking system, is in a Build Operate and Transfer Public Private Partnership agreement with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC).
Motorists are required to pay US$15 or Zimbabwean dollar equivalent to drive away their cars that would have been clamped.
One raging motorist, Mr Silas Ngwenya told this publication that he had to wait three hours to have his clamped car released after having paid the vehicle clamping fee.
“As seen on my receipt soon after finding out that my car had been clamped, I went to the BCC and paid ZWL$ 4 035. When l left after paying, they told me in the next 10 minutes or so my car would be released but l had to wait for over three hours for it to be released,” said Mr Ngwenya.
He said the timeframe it took to have his car released showed how much TTI did not value motorists and at the same time disrupting their schedules through the delays.
Mr Ngwenya said he tried to call the number on his receipt countless times to have the TTI enforcers attend to him after waiting for hours but no one was answering.
Another motorist, Ms Ruth Hove said the unclamping delays were a headache especially to those who would be having pressing issues to attend to.
“When l came out of the pharmacy l found my car clamped. I immediately went to pay so that l can rush home with my grandmother’s medication, but they took time to come and release it. What’s funny is how swift they are when clamping but when it comes to releasing the clamped vehicle they take forever,” she said.
When contacted for commenting, TTI managing director, Mr Bongani Nyathi said the clamping team and the releasing team were two different teams.
“Most of the times it depends on the location of the clamped vehicle, normally when a person has paid, the cashier should alarm the releasing time to go and unclamp the vehicle should not take more than 30 minutes. The releasing team is not the clamping team,” said Mr Nyathi.
He said at times it could be network problems that result in the delays as witnessed during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) there was a problem of network.
Mr Ngwenya disputed claims that the landline could go unanswered as he said there was always a person at the reception.
“The only thing l can tell you is that as soon as a person has paid the cashier call the releasing team and our releasing team, they are not in one station they are in different areas where they are zoned. If someone is clamped at a certain area there is someone who should release them in that zone.”