Harare Gardens is not a car park

THE National Gallery in Harare has turned the sculpture garden in Harare Gardens into a private car park, the gates on the public footpath now kept locked at both exit/entry points, enforced by a security guard.

On raising the issue with gallery staff, I was informed that it wants to prevent damage to the pieces of sculpture. What a joke! The gallery management has already been responsible for causing considerable damage to the public garden by using it as a car park, accessed by driving down a narrow footpath. Instead of using a selfish, ham-fisted approach –– which ignores the rights of residents and tourists alike — they should use that guard to monitor and protect the art pieces and leave the public path alone.
Also, since when do they just close a public footpath without going through the legal process?
I must complain most strongly at the annexure of the main garden, above the Bowling Club, in turning it into a parking area, depriving pedestrians of the use of a main circulatory footpath. Obviously this is once again with the connivance of the council whose priority is certainly not the residents. Who is making the money from this misuse of the gardens, the club or council?
This is the third section of major public pathway closed within the Harare gardens. I wonder when it will all end.
I ask Lesley Gwindi, the council’s mouthpiece, as he usually has a lot to say, to justify the council’s incompetence.

Malcolm Leppard,
mleppard@mango.zw

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