Unaccountable councils miss out on Zinara $18 million

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The Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) this year disbursed $18 million to rural district councils (RDCs) across the country amid revelations some local authorities got nothing because they failed to account for funds allocated to them last year.

This was revealed by Zinara’s southern region engineer Moses Juma at the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe conference held in Bulawayo on Wednesday.

Juma said last year Zinara disbursed about $3 million to the local authorities in line with the programmes and expenditure reports they submitted to the road authority.

He said this year, the road authority, disbursed $18 million which some local authorities could unfortunately not access because they did not submit their programmes and previous allocation spending reports.

“The 51% of the disbursement went to the RDCs while the remainder went to the urban councils,” said Juma.

“Those who submitted their programmes and expenditure reports got their allocation from the fund. Zinara does not release funds if councils have not unveiled their programmes and spending reports.”

He said the RDCs must have spent about 75% of their previous allocation to receive a new allocation.
Juma said the acquittal report by the council should include a technical report, financial report, commitment register, bank statement and supporting documents.

“That is what most local authorities have failed to submit, hence their failure to get the new allocations,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Zinara engineer for the northern region, Givemore Kufa, said allocations to the local authorities for road maintenance depended on the length of roads.

“About 75% of the roads under the RDCs are covered by the District Development Fund while 80% of the urban roads are covered under the Ministry of Roads. Most councils always complain over the delay of disbursement of funds to them. We want to highlight that the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development is the one which determines which councils must benefit,” said Kufa.