BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
MBIZO MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) has called on the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) to decongest traffic at tollgates by introducing tap cards.
In a statement yesterday, Chikwinya, who is also the MDC Alliance secretary for transport and logistics, said motorists and passengers were facing gruelling long queues at tollgates due to the slow and non-functional tolling system in place.
“Law-abiding road users are subjected to almost an hour’s delay at tollgates as the billing system is either not connected to the network for those intending to use electronic payment systems, or the cashiers have no change for the United States dollar bills in a country where US$1 notes are sold at a premium,” Chikwinya said.
“Surprisingly, Zinara has a pre-paid tolling system which unfortunately has not been popularised by the road agency for the convenience of road users,” he said.
Chikwinya said the tap card system is a pre-paid system that does not depend on mobile networks present at tolling plazas and would, therefore, be easy to use.
“If the majority of road users were to be made aware of this system, half our tolling problems would be solved. Currently, the tap card is available at Zinara offices only and at tollgates, but it is in short supply. It remains difficult for someone already delayed to further stop at a tollgate to apply for the card,” he said.
Chikwinya said Zinara must distribute these cards widely through retail shops, fuel stations and even hotels and restaurants.
- Follow Harriet on Twitter @harrietchikand1