Harare residents were this Thursday (today) left stranded following a directive by the City of Harare for commuter omnibus operators to vacate the Central Business District to new peripheral ranks.

The first day of the council’s programme to decongest the city by barring commuter omnibus operators from the CBD was marred by chaos and confusion for most residents who had to walk long distances from the new drop off points into the city centre with no supposed shuttle services anywhere in sight at most zones.

School children, the elderly and those with disability were among the many who could be seen moving up and down on their way to and from the CBD.

Those who spoke to the ZBC News strongly condemned the move by city fathers which they said is a rushed and arbitrary move.

Commuter omnibus and bus operators were also left stranded especially at the Seke road rank where they had to park by the sideways of the new rank which is still under construction.

The supposed shuttle bus transport into town was evidently being snubbed by travellers who opted not to lose extra money.

A few errant commuters openly defied the directive and proceeded to drop off passengers in the city.

This is not the first time that the City Council has tried to decongest the city without success.

The process has always been marred by hidden agendas that include political motives, resistance and sometimes corruption.

The concept of holding bays was long developed and they functioned for a minimal time before being relegated to white elephants.