CEOs want tollgate fees exemption


Rural district council (RDC)s’ chief executive officers (CEOs) who attended the Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe annual conference in Bulawayo on Wednesday appealed for the local authorities hosting the tollgates to be exempted from paying tollgate fees.

The CEOs asked the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) to consider that most of the tollgates were mounted in the RDC jurisdictions hence it was unfair for the local authorities to always pay tollgate fees each time they pass tollgates they go through several times because they are in their operational area.

“We are hosting these tollgates. As much as we are supposed to benefit from the funds collected from the tollgates, we feel it is not proper for RDCs to pay the fees considering the poor revenue collection base we have. Can’t we be exempted from paying the fee?” questioned one CEO.
Responding to the question and request, Zinara’s Southern Region Engineer Moses Juma said it was mandatory that all road users pay tollgate fees as long as they pass through the tollgates.

“It is to everyone’s advantage that we pay the tollgate fees and even we as Zinara pay each time we pass tollgates. That means even the RDCs must not be exempted from paying the fees.

“We must at the moment contribute the money towards our road construction through tollgates and if things normalise we can then talk about the issue of exemptions later.” said Juma.

He said if exemption is allowed for RDCs, everyone would demand exemption and that would lead to the collapse of the whole programme.

The CEOs also complained that they had not seen themselves benefiting from the tollgate fees as purported by the government hence they wanted to see a clear allocation of funds towards road construction from the funds.

Juma said most local authorities do not have experienced engineers hence they fail to submit comprehensive programme reports to lure the release of funds for road construction in their areas.