Harare City Council takes great concern and reservation with an article that appeared in The Sunday Mail of 18 September 2016 headlined Cattle, donkeys get “freedom of the city” and an editorial in The Herald of 20 September 2016 titled: Harare can’t be returned to Stone Age.
The two articles are misleading and are premised on a wrong interpretation of the by law. The bylaw should be celebrated because it seeks to bring order in the city. The bylaw is taking Harare forward and outlawing the unregulated use of carts.
Previously there has not been any legislation to control the use of pushcarts, animal drawn carts and cycles in Harare. The city could therefore not enforce against the use of the same.
The new Harare (cycle licensing) bylaw that is subject of ridicule actually provides for the regulation of cycles which come in various forms such as pushcarts, animal drawn carts and handcarts.
Section 4 of the bylaw categorically states that “No person shall use on any road and cycle…..unless it has been licensed….”
The general rule therefore is that cycles are prohibited except in exceptional circumstances. In such exceptional cases a person will have to apply for a license. The exceptional cases refer to events like weddings and or state functions that require horse drawn carts. This means one cannot use an animal drawn cart at a wedding without express authority from council.
The bylaw empowers the city to regulate the use of pushcarts used by vendors who block roads causing congestion and causing traffic accidents.
The bylaw criminalises the use of such cycles without license. The bylaw empowers the city to enforce effectively.
Its major thrust is to prohibit the use of such cycles except in exceptional circumstances wherein a person will require license.
The city apologises to its customers for any misunderstanding that may have been caused by the wrong interpretation of the bylaw.