HARARE residents have rejected plans by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to set up urban tollgates, describing the move as a desperate ploy by the Zanu PF regime to “squeeze motorists of their hard-earned cash”.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Through an umbrella body Residents Forum (Ref), ratepayers said government should first account for money the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) collected from vehicle licences and ensure transparency in its use before introducing urban tollgates.
“Zinara should first account for the large sums of money that they have collected over the years before they can even begin to think of devising more ways to fleece Zimbabweans of their hard-earned cash,” read a statement by the forum.
Kasukuwere recently told the media that he was mooting introduction of urban tollgates as a way of raising more revenue for road rehabilitation as well as pushing for increased disbursement of funds to local authorities by Zinara.
But residents said since Zinara took over the collection of vehicle licenses and tollgate proceeds, they have failed to improve the country’s road network.
“We believe it’s high time Zinara be held accountable for the huge sums of money they continue to collect yet it is never put into put to good use as expected. In the few coming days we are going to petition all the responsible Ministries, Zinara as well as Local Authorities to look into this “mess”.
We cannot allow a situation where 70% of the collected revenue is channelled towards Zinara administration and a paltry 30% is apportioned between Zinara’s projects and the city councils,” the resident’s groups said.
Local authorities have complained that they are receiving pittance from Zinara and Kasukuwere said he would engage Transport minister; Jorum Gumbo so that more money could be channelled towards road rehabilitation and the disbursement should be in line with the number of vehicles paying for licence fees.