Tuesday, 6 August 2019

HARARE COUNCIL TO TAKE OVER ROADPORT


An administrative boob by Harare City Council in 1995 will see Roadport (Private) Limited continue to run the city’s busiest interchange bus terminus, Roadport, for an additional year.

The terminus services mainly cross-border buses and council was planning a take over this October following the expiry of a build-operate-and-transfer model with Roadport, but the takeover hit a brick wall as the company is insisting that it still has an additional year to run on its contract.

Harare’s capacity to operate the terminus is also arguably questionable as most of its termini are in a poor state following years of negligence, despite collecting revenue from the same facilities.

According to business committee minutes, Harare engaged external lawyers who proffered legal opinion. 

“City of Harare and Roadport laboured under a common mistake because at the time of contracting, the parties agreed that the period of lease was 25 years yet the lease agreement stated that the lease would commence on November 1, 1995 and terminate on October 31, 2019, which is a period of 24 years.

“The mistake did not go to the root of the contract between the parties and therefore does not vitiate the contract. In other words the contract remains valid,” read the minutes.

“As a way forward parties can agree through an addendum to the lease agreement to amend the date of termination to October 31, 2020. If City of Harare does not wish to renew the lease, it should then consider giving notice of non-renewal being guided by the provisions of the existing lease agreement.”

The city fathers then resolved to recognise 2020 as the year of termination. 

“City of Harare can only terminate its relationship with Roadport (Pvt) Ltd on grounds recognised by law such as in cases where it wanted to use the property itself.

“That the Town Clerk takes necessary action to prepare for the eventual takeover of the Roadport bus interchange termini after termination of the build-operate-and-transfer agreement in 2020 and periodically report to the committee on progress made in this regard,” the minutes read. Herald

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