Easihold, HCC in legal battle over parking

The City Council is has failed to stop its South African partner Easihold installing new parking meters despite, an inside source has revealed.

A councillor told The Zimbabwean on condition of anonymity thatthe owner of Easihold, Michael Clark, had visited Minister Ignatius Chombo just after city had declared negotiations deadlocked in December.

“They have installed meters along Leopold Takawira Street without consent from the Council and in direct contravention of the deadlock declaration, which means we are supposed to seek an arbitrator,” he said. Many councillors suspect that some political hand is behind Easihold’s defiance.

“This is an attempt to show residents and the country that council is powerless and clueless. I can tell you there is someone supporting them.Our problem though is that we are very slow in looking for the arbitrator. This issue must be resolved once and for all,” he added.

Council Spokesperson Leslie Gwindi refused to comment because the issue is “sub-judice.” “It is not proper for me to comment on an issue that is supposed to go before an arbitrator,” Gwindi said.

Easipark General Manager and Easihold’s representative on the joint company board,Pegious Dube, also refused to comment. “Ask the town clerk. We have a dispute and the right channels will be followed,” Dube said.

It is understood conflict is raging over technicalities to do with the composition of the board and shareholding structure. A shareholders’ agreement in which the city was to own 60% while Easihold would get 40% has been stalled because the parties cannot agree on when the agreement should take effect. The city wants the agreement to take effect when signed, while the South Africans are adamant it should be implemented retrogressively to take into account the time operated so far.

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