The Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) yesterday said it will trim the list of motorists exempted from paying toll fees on the country’s highways as it steps up efforts to raise money to pay off its African Development Bank loan debt.
Zinara chief executive officer Frank Chitukutuku told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development that the list of exemptions was too long and needed to be revised downwards.
“If they can afford to give their workers T and S (travel and subsistence allowance) for lunch when they have workshops, then they should be able to give them toll fees.”
Chitukutuku said this after MDC-T MP Tapiwa Dzirutwe raised concern over the number of individuals and institutions on Zinara’s exemption list.
The list includes judges, soldiers, MPs and all government vehicles.
“There are too many exemptions, even in South Africa the president pays at tollgates,” Dzirutwe claimed.
He said government officials should make requests for money for tollgates in their budget allocations.
Chitukutuku said prior to 2009, the list of exemptions was short, but the government — through the Ministry of Transport — made a special request for additional exemptions.
Two weeks ago, chiefs appealed to be considered for exemption arguing their $300 monthly allowances were inadequate.
Chiefs fall under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.
Chitukutuku said although ambulances carrying patients could be allowed to pass, they should be furnished with bills later on because they were “commercial” since patients pay for their services.
He said from June 30 this year, Zinara would take full charge of the country’s tollgates.