BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has confronted the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) following its alleged failure to disburse funds allocated for road rehabilitation in the city.
Speaking last week during a full council meeting, mayor Solomon Mguni said Zinara had failed to keep its promise to disburse funds for roads, adding that it was now time to take action.
“Now we’re using our own monies to rehabilitate Luveve Road and Matopos Road, yet that money was supposed to be disbursed from Zinara. What's the endgame, what are we going to do about the monies that are still not disbursed from Zinara? Are we going to sit and cry every month,” Mguni asked?
Zinara spokesperson Tendai Mugabe, however, said the money for road rehabilitation was disbursed to BCC last year.
“It’s important to understand the mandate of Zinara. Our mandate in terms of the Road Act is to fix, collect and disburse road user fees to road authorities; of which last year we disbursed to many authorities, BCC included,” Mugabe said.
“Road user charges that we collect include toll fees, vehicle licensing fees, overload fees, and we also collect these funds then allocate to various road authorities using a formula based on the condition of roads. It will be very unfair to comment on allegations by BCC to sue Zinara. We have no issues with BCC.”
Mugabe added: “We disbursed more than $11 billion towards road rehabilitation and we have published our disbursements in line with our thrust which epitomises transparency and accountability.”
Zinara disbursed about $12 billion to local authorities across the country for road maintenance and rehabilitation in 2022 under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).
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According to BCC, the city requires at least US$700 million to rehabilitate its major roads.
In an unrelated development, BCC has partnered Cordaid to implement a citywide immunisation programme for different diseases affecting children under five years.
In a statement, town clerk Christopher Dube said the immunisation programme would target children aged zero to five years who were not immunised against BCG, hepatitis B, pentavalent 1 and 2, oral polio 1 and 2, pneumococcal 1 and 2, rotavirus 1 and 2, measles rubella 1 and 2, intravenous polio 1 and 2, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
“The exercise will be conducted in three rounds on a monthly basis, consisting of five days per round,” Dube said.
The first round commenced from January 30 to February 3, while the second round will cover the rest of the month of February, and the third round will kick off next month.
Dube said one of the major purposes of conducting vaccinations was to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak of diseases in the city.
Late last year, Zimbabwe embarked on an intensive polio vaccination campaign to curb the spread of the virus which has already affected neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique.
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