Election season has seen posters for political hopefuls pasted on walls, trees, lamp posts and even on the vehicles of Harare’s streets. It’s a technique also used by all sorts of business entities, music shows, church events and the like but after the events are over, the streets are left dirty and littered.
Municipal workers try to take them down every morning but this results in even an uglier sight as posters are usually glued using strong adhesives, so scraping them off can remove the paint below too.
“Each morning I take down posters that have been put up during the night. I don’t believe that the people who put up posters would like them to be stuck on their own walls at their home,” says a municipal worker Varaidzo who cleans up the Fourth Street bus terminus.
Even though City by-laws prohibit fly-posting, during the run up to the elections it was difficult to implement these laws since all political parties were using posters.
Public Relations Manager at City of Harare, Lesley Gwindi says: “We do not encourage putting up posters on walls, we take them down and are always on the lookout for perpetrators. If caught one is subject to prosecution.”
Most of these posters are put up where there are high volumes of traffic in a bid to get maximum mileage on advertisements. The recently painted public toilet on corner Fourth Street and Robert Mugabe Road is one such hot spot.
Many building owners have resorted to erecting signs threatening to prosecute anyone caught sticking posters on their walls, but most of the warnings go unheeded.
A residential flat owner in the Avenues, Innocent Mukanga said: “I get really frustrated when people stick up their posters on my Durawall. People should learn to respect other people’s property.”
In the past posters were prevalent in downtown Harare but have now spread to invade uptown buildings and residential areas.
Newspaper companies have joined in, tying up their headline banners on tree trunks and lamp posts on roads leading to the city centre.
As the election madness subsides, Harare News hopes all parties will deal with their fly-posting debris responsibly.