Harare City Council has fixed two roads in Avondale that were in a deplorable state after a local businessman sued council for failure to maintain its roads that were damaging his fleet of vehicles. Mr Maxwell Murombo Manatsa had approached the High Court seeking to force the city to maintain roads, citing two roads — Ridge Road and Mount Road in Avondale, Harare — where he resides that he said were in a bad state and pushed up his vehicle maintenance costs. His bold and rare step to sue council paid dividends as the city took quick remedial action and fixed the two roads before the matter was heard before a judge.
Mr Manatsa’s lawyer Mr Tinashe Tanyanyiwa of Manase and Manase, yesterday, said the city fixed the two roads on October 4, after having received the application for a mandatory interdict compelling them to repair the roads. “I have instructions to approach the city council with a deed of settlement settling the matter considering that the remedy sought has already been gained,” said Mr Tanyanyiwa.
“It is commendable that the officials of the city council have heeded the better angels of their nature by addressing my client’s concerns. Hopefully, next time it will not take a High Court application for them to attend to its lawful mandate.
Mr Manatsa, who frequently uses the two roads had approached the court seeking to compel council to repair the two roads within 60 days of granting the relief sought.
He argued that the condition of the roads made him suffer injury due to the high rate at which his cars were deteriorating. The businessman further argued that council should be held culpable for his woes because it is responsible for ensuring that the city is properly run and that ratepayers enjoy a reasonable standard of living. In 2010, the Supreme Court paved way for motorists to sue council for damage caused to their cars by potholes on municipal roads.
This followed the High Court ruling ordering council to pay for damages to former Stanbic Bank boss Ms Pindie Nyandoro’s Mercedes-Benz in 2007. In January 2007, Ms Nyandoro was driving along Enterprise Road towards the city centre when her Mercedes-Benz hit a pothole, damaging the steering rack and a tie-rod end.
The council is also being sued for $300 000 by another man who broke his leg after falling into an unsecured drain. Mr Everisto Mungate (40), who allegedly fell into a drainage pipe is demanding damages for shock, pain and suffering loss of amenities of life, disability and medical expenses.
He alleged that on March 28, he fell into a drain while running to board a vehicle along Simon Mazorodze Road and is now unable to walk and conduct his day-to-day activities