The Harare City Council has accused the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) of only releasing funds for roads maintenance when there is a visiting foreign delegation, ostensibly to cover up for the poor state of the country’s road network.
BY MOSES MATENGA
The council said last year, Zinara only provided funds for roads rehabilitation ahead of visits by regional leaders for the Sadc Summit in Victoria Falls in August and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
In May last year, Harare City Council received more than $700 000 to maintain its roads ahead of the Sadc Summit held in Victoria Falls.
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said other than the $740 116 released early February 2015, Zinara only disbursed $1 million for routine maintenance and nothing else.
“That seems to be the case.Yes, we are crying foul over Zinara disbursements and we are questioning our representation on the Zinara board,” he said.
Victoria Falls mayor, Sifiso Mpofu sit on the Zinara board representing local authorities.
“The token disbursements, mostly in kind, bear no reflection to our vehicle population, our licence fees, our road network and our needs.
“We have sufficient justification to levy our own motorists in Harare,” he said.
“They can justifiably boycott the Zinara licences. Harare vehicles can always meet Zinara at the tollgates when they exit our boundaries.”
According to the finance committee, money received from Zinara was not sufficient to maintain roads in the city.
Harare’s roads are currently in a deplorable state, with council accusing Zinara of reneging on its responsibility of releasing funds to the local authority to maintain the roads.
Council had at one point tasked its former town clerk, Tendai Mahachi, to engage the ministries of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Transport to ensure that an agreement was made for Zinara to release money for the city roads.
Harare is currently looking at other ways of mobilising funds for road maintenance.