GOVERNMENT is planning to launch a blitz on car sales in Harare and Chitungwiza, accusing them of turning the urban areas into havens of drug peddling and prostitution.
The move will likely spell doom for the flourishing business which has taken advantage of the huge appetite for used cars by Zimbabwean mainly imports from Japan.
Car dealers have also been under siege from the tax collector, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, which has been pursuing cars whose customs duty was undervalued.
Harare Metropolitan Affairs minister Oliver Chidawu announced on Tuesday that government was concerned over the mushrooming of car sales in the capital which he accused of causing environmental degradation and illegally occupying council and State land.
“We have this city being turned, in fact, all roads are being turned into car sales. We have noticed in some areas like Lomagundi Road where there are a lot of car sales. We don’t know the process that has been followed. We are now emphasising that we want orderliness,” Chidawu said.
“We want to ensure that we follow planning. We have realised some of our members of staff probably have been compromised in doing things which may not be above the law.”
Chidawu also said government was taken aback by instances where recreational land such as golf courses were being sold and turned into residential stands.
“We want to correct that so it is really not about a witch-hunt at all, but it is about getting things done properly. We want order in Harare and as you are aware, we had instances where golf courses were sold.”
Provincial development co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti said there was an outcry from residents over an increase in car sales.
“People are cutting down trees, taking over playgrounds and road servitudes without consulting the residents.”
Acting mayor Stewart Mutizwa said there was need to investigate and ensure all car sales across the city have proper documentation.
- Follow Richard on Twitter @muponderichard