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Councils gang up against Zinara

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LOCAL authorities have ganged up against the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) accusing it of causing the collapse of the country’s urban road networks.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Urban Councils Authority of Zimbabwe president, and Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni said councils were united in the call to have Zinara disbanded and stopped from collecting vehicle licence fees, which were previously collected by local authorities.

“It has no business collecting vehicle license fees. The fees should be collected by local authorities and Zinara itself has proved beyond doubt that it shouldn’t even exist.”

Manyanyeni said his council was receiving $1 million yearly against about $40 million required for maintenance of the city’s roads.

“They give us an average of $1 million a year, largely in kind and not cash when we expect $40 million, there is no conversation there,” he said.

Kwekwe mayor, Matenda Madzoke said Zinara should manage tollgate fees and other remittances, while leaving councils to collect vehicle licence fees so that they could maintain the roads.

“We got just $219 000 for the whole year from Zinara in 2015 and that money was not even enough for use on rehabilitating any road. We believe that if we are allowed to collect vehicle licences, as was the case in the past our roads would be in better shape and condition,” he said.

Kwekwe council says it can collect nearly $500 000 every quarter from the nearly 4 000 vehicles including buses and commuter omnibuses within its jurisdiction.

Kadoma mayor, Muchineyi Chinyanganya echoed the same sentiments saying his council receives $170 000 yearly against an annual budgetary requirement of at least $1 million to service city roads.

But Transport minister Joram Gumbo accused local authorities of abusing vehicle licence fees.

“They [councils] never collected an amount of $100 000 per term or per quarter of a year for roads, they never did that, but every local authority is getting over a $100 000 per quarter, so what are they doing with that money?

Harare, which makes a lot of noise, for instance, they get over a million, where are they putting it?” he charged.

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