The Sunday Mail
Harare City Council has embarked on an exercise to confiscate eighth-ball pool tables that are placed at most bus termini and shopping centres.
Yesterday morning, the City Council conducted a raid at Simon Muzenda Bus Terminus (Formerly Fourth Street bus terminus) and confiscated some snooker tables.
The City’s corporate communications manager, Mr Michael Chideme said the exercise is part of measures to restore sanity in the city.
“It is an ongoing exercise to rid the city of illegal activities in such places. The pool tables that were at the Fourth Street bus terminus were illegal because there were not at approved areas and the owners are not paying anything to the City Council,” he said.
“It is a sustained programme that we are carrying out across the city as we respond to our vision of attaining a world class city by 2025.”
Of late, snooker tables have been sprouting across the city, especially at bus termini, illegal tuck shops, bars and shebeens in most residential areas.
According to the Urban Council Act Section 18(2) of the Urban Councils (Model) (Use and Occupation of land and buildings by laws statutory instrument 109/1979), snooker tables at undesignated sites are illegal structures and local authorities can confiscate them.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Chief executive officer, Mr Mfundo Mlilo said there is need for the council to find strategies that will be bring lasting solutions to the challenge of illegal structures.
“We support the idea of restoring order and sanity in the city by the council but there are chances that these pool tables will be back on the streets sooner than we think,” he said.
“Look at what happened with the vendors, the council fought with them without thinking of a sustainable strategy.
“Council should ask if this is an economic problem or people are simply trying to entertain them themselves.
“This will help them in planning and solving the problem in the long run.”
Last year, Harare City Council embarked on an exercise to remove illegal vendors who had invaded pavements, street islands, intersections and car parks in the CBD in search of lucrative business.
Designated areas outside the CBD were set for them.
However, the vendors are back on the streets.