Motorists face new road fee

Harare Municipal police officers, in a joint operation with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, hoist a dangerously parked commuter omnibus onto their truck along Julius Nyerere Way over the weekend. — (Picture by John Manzongo)

Harare Municipal police officers, in a joint operation with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, hoist a dangerously parked commuter omnibus onto their truck along Julius Nyerere Way over the weekend. — (Picture by John Manzongo)

Innocent Ruwende: Municipal Reporter

Harare motorists are set to fork out more for using city roads as the local authority mulls introducing a fee for road maintenance following inadequate allocations from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara).Harare City Council was allocated $1,2 million for road maintenance this year, an amount it dismissed as a joke and a far-cry from its requirements. The city said the proposed new road fee would help it maintain roads because depending on Zinara spelt doom.

It costs between $850 000 and $1,2 million to construct one kilometre of tarred road, which means motorists may have to endure potholes. Engineer Moses Juma of Zinara recently asked council to submit its 2017 programme of works.

“According to the Road Act Chapter 13:18 Section 16, the town is requested to submit a programme works for 2017 financial year.

“Kindly be advised that your allocation for 2017 is $1 262 854, the programme should highlight 30 percent routine and 70 percent periodic maintenance, and should be submitted by November 2016,” reads the letter.

Responding to the allocation recently, Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni, said: “It is a joke. What does Zinara do for a living? If Harare has got anything to do with road maintenance, we may have to introduce our own road fee. Good bye roads for now.

“We expect $40m to $70m per year and you would notice it working. We can’t be taking money for water treatment to fix roads.”

Zinara board chairperson Mr Albert Mugabe said local authorities had access to the same funds but used them for other purposes other than roads.

He said Zinara inherited roads that required reconstruction, which was the mandate of local authorities.

“If there is routine maintenance it is cheaper but when you do not maintain, you will need rehabilitation. If you fail the two you will need reconstruction. We found the roads in the last stage which requires a lot of investment. It is the duty of local authorities to construct their roads,” he said.

Local authorities have always been accusing Zinara of allocating them meagre resources.

They have called for a change in policy to enable local authorities to collect licence fees in order to fulfil their mandates or alternatively for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to allocate financial resources in accordance with the number of vehicles residing in an area.

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  • Tinovaziva

    The powder is dry now all they need is a lit match for it all to explode. The government keeps imposing taxes, levies and bans with little thought as to how it affects the men and women of this country. I can tell you we, ordinary men and women, will end up footing this ludicrous projects and the potbellied thugs who will siphon the majority of the funds.

  • eliah

    Oh no Mr Mayor this is not the answer. The Minister must make noise to ZINARA to release the funds they are collecting from vehicle licence fees. They has to be some accountability of some sort, and what this means is that the concerned Minister is sleeping on the job. This tendency of going for soft targets whenever they is a problem must STOP. Why the MOTORISTS?

  • Sevenzo

    Under Mugabe’s leadership, nothing in this country has ever been resolved after Independence. The land reform is ongoing and a failed disaster 16yrs on, roads have disappeared, electricity cuts have come to stay, medicines are in short supply, refuse collection is non-existent, people are dying from typhoid and cholera, water is in short supply, police and government are corrupt terrorists and the quality of education is in terminal decline. Of all these problems, I cannot think of one which has been resolved. We are not eveb talking of improvements.

  • kk

    Travelled from Mutare to Victoria Falls through Harare recently, did not see a single stretch of road being repaired but the road is horrible particularly from Byo to Victoria Falls! My car’s electronic system failed becoz of bumps and potholes, so where are the tollgate fees going? 1,2 million for Harare? When is this madness ending?

  • pitros

    Corrections are never bad. I personally would have the licence fees payable to city/town councils and they remit to ZINARA. As it is councils/town councils will always have excuses for their in-efficiency and failure to discharge their duties. Look at the grass on road intersections, some of these attitudes start right from your house. I do not need my father to tell me to cut the grass at our home my conscience simply tells me to keep our house clean moreover my parents would give me pocket money that I could not even finish because I valued our home. Those at city/ town councils are you there out of money or the love of the country’s beauty?

  • Progressive Zimbabwean

    I think on a matter of principle we need to support Mayor Manyenyeni on this one. Surely, as a resident of this once beautiful city the USD1.2 million is way too low. This is the city where parliament sits and where the important executive office of the president is. It is also a city that is by far the largest in the country and hosts the largest number of cars, more so when one considers greater Harare comprising of Ruwa, Norton and Chitungwiza. Most major companies have their headquarters in Harare. The most rational thing to do is to share the resources in proportion to the number of vehicles registered in any given location. For us to watch as the roads deteriorate and do nothing about it is height of ineptitude.The current rains have worsened the situation and ZINARA must rise to the occasion otherwise they have no business being in those lofty offices.

  • phidza

    we will fork out so that they fork in to their pockets. hahaha

  • ini

    Local authorities should be allocated their fair share (ALL) of license fees used for maintenance of local roads, ZINARA which “maintains” highways, get its revenue from toll gates… simple… a kindergarten kid can do this…

  • Madara

    lol, there will never be enough money to fix the roads. they have gotten so much worse just over the festive season.

  • Gamba ReManyika

    A bit of arithmetic here (not mathematics):
    1. It costs between $850,000 and $1.2m to do 1km of road. This translates to $850 – $1,200 per metre. Are these figures realistic or we just get them from the internet or books? Methinks this is just to much for either maintenance, rehabilitation or construction. In any case, where are our civil engineers to design low-cost durable road construction material, including clay and gravel! We can’t bust so-called sanctions if we can’t think unconventional!!
    2. Harare City got $1.2 miollion for road maintenance in 2017. That translates to around $100,000 per month. At the cost of $1,200/metre cited above, Harare is expected to maintain only 83 km of road. Are you serious guys?
    3. Harare, the capital, gets $1.2 million for the whole year. Assuming we have a city as big as Harare in each of our 10 provinces (a very generous assumption), this means ZINARA will disburse $12 million only for road maintenance. A whole country with close to 100,000 km worth of paved roads surfaced with crushed stone (macadam) and hydrocarbon binder or bituminized agents, with concrete, or with cobblestones, devoting only $12 million budget! This means each kilometer is being allocated $120 per year or $10 a month. How then does this relate to the $850k-$1m cited in this article? Where is our intelligence and highly famed education guys? Cant’ we do things right for ourselves, just for once.
    4. A saloon/passenger car pays an average of $20 per term in license fees. This is $60 a year of 3 terms. With a car population of about a million (never mind the bigger vehicles which pay more, trailers, tractors, motor-cycles, etc.), revenue in licence fees alone comes to over $60 million per year. All that is going to ZINARA’s coffers. Now lets suppose the country’s 9 toll-gates also rake in $2.1 million every month as reported by Moses Juma, ZINARA’s CEO. That is over $25 million in year. Add that to the licence fees and we have nearly $100 million in a year.
    5. We generate the funds guys but I don’t know how we account for the money. Meanwhile, we the road (pot-hole) users keep paying toll upon toll. Tibatsireiwo please by doing things right. We have suffered enough because of bad management of national institutions.

  • Where are the 2 million jobs?

    the day they stop stealing, even if they start charging for clean air and they do santise and clean the air i will be glad to pay