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Motorist takes Masvingo City Council to court over parking tickets

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Motorist takes Masvingo City Council to court over parking tickets

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Audrey Mashingaidze
MIRROR REPORTER

MASVINGO – A motorist has labelled Masvingo City Council’s Prepaid Parking Department as incompetent and unaccountable for among other things issuing invoices that allegedly do not reflect dates on which cars are billed.
Prosper Tiringindi who is represented by Murdock Chivasa of Dube, Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners has applied for an interdict plus costs to stop the local authority from using billing records that don’t reflect dates.
Tiringindi who is being asked to pay a penalty of US$10 for an unpaid bill of US$1 also argues the penalty is grossly unreasonable and is demanding that the local authority makes it public through recognised channels how it calculates the penalty.
The City Council is yet to submit its opposing affidavit. The case is at Masvingo Magistrates Court.
Tiringindi who is a resident of the city also contends that the local authority’s bylaws are barely published, and the public is ambushed. He says that the new ticketing system was introduced without any advertising and therefore the public was caught by surprise and residents barely know what is happening.
According to his founding affidavit, on June 17, 2024, Tiringindi went into town and parked near the DDC’s offices. A parking marshal approached him, asking for US$1 parking fees which he paid. However, the marshal went on to produce an unpaid invoice of US$1 plus US$10 penalty which Tiringindi says did not have the date when he parked his car.
“I am aggrieved by the seemingly fraudulent billing by the local authority.
“The receipt does not show when I parked and failed to pay as it does not have any dates on it. The penalty of US$10 charged for not paying US$1 is grossly unreasonable.
“The absence of a date on the attached receipt shows highest levels of incompetency and lack of accountability by the respondent. The respondent is taking advantage of simple motorists like myself by billing them debt with no track record as to when they were incurred.
“The respondent must show how penalties against non-payment of parking fees are calculated,” said Tiringindi.

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