HomeNewsCouncils demand vehicle licensing role

Councils demand vehicle licensing role

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LOCAL authorities countrywide want the vehicle licensing role, which was taken over by the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara), to be given back to them, since it was their major source of revenue for the maintenance of roads.

By Tatenda Chitagu/Nqobani Ndlovu

The local authorities’ yesterday appealed to Irene Zindi, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government at a national residents’ associations’ annual reflection meeting with city councils held in the eastern border town.

Masvingo City Council director of housing, Levison Nzvura said on paper, Zinara may be seen to be allocating them money for servicing roads, yet “what will actually be disbursed will be a pittance”.

“At times, Zinara will promise to give us $300 000 in their budget, but what will actually come may be far way below that figure. This poses a challenge to us when it comes to maintaining our roads. A few kilometres of our road network is perfect, the rest is in a sorry state,” he said.

Zindi said her committee had engaged Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere over the issue and recommended that Zinara hands back vehicle licensing to councils.

“Our committee is also seized with the matter and we made a recommendation to Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere for Zinara to hand back that duty to councils.

“Vehicle licensing fees were the major source of revenue for local authorities and when that role was taken over by Zinara, they were left exposed. We engaged the minister so he can give back vehicle licensing to local authorities,” she said.

Zindi, however, said her committee is yet to get a response from Kasukuwere.

“We are yet to get a response from the minister . . . we have no enforcement mechanism, we only make recommendations and the minister will then enforce that recommendation,” she said.

Vehicle licence fees were collected by local authorities until 2010, when Zinara took over the responsibility.

Councils used to retain the bulk of the funds for the maintenance of roads.

But after Zinara centralised the collection of vehicle licensing, the local authorities say they have no money to service their road networks, most of which are in bad shape.

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