By Staff Reporter
GOVERNMENT has immediately reversed its unpopular decision to ban commuter omnibus operators from ferrying passengers into the Harare City Centre.
This follows wide outcry from Harare residents who were now being forced to pay an additional 30 cents to get into the city centre from drop off zones, some which were some 3km from their usual destinations.
Most disgruntled commuters who could not afford the extra cost to complete their journeys on shuttle buses were seen walking into town on Thursday.
Authorities had issued the directive ostensibly to decongest the city centre.
In a statement, Local Government Minister July Moyo said Thursday his ministry “regretted the hurried decision” taken by the Harare City Council “without first providing a viable and inexpensive alternative for the commuting public”.
“Accordingly and in view of the decentralised function that the Harare City Council would ordinarily exercise by legislative delegation, I, as the responsible minister, hereby reverse and rescind with immediate effect the said decision and subsequent announcement by the City banning commuter omnibus and kombis access to the Central Business District until such time that proper and sustainable transit arrangements are put in place for workers and the travelling public,” the Minister said.
Moyo accused authorities at Town House of issuing directives that were not in the interests of residents in and around the city.
He said he has since written to council authorities to communicate his order.
Earlier during the day, Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the directive had “created many unintended outcomes and inconveniences to the general public”.
He also appealed to the ministry to reverse the decision which he said was made by the ministry working together with the Joint Operations Command.
This comes as Harare residents’ groups had resolved to join forces with other pressure groups to stage a massive protest against the decision this Friday.