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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  • s shumba

    Mr Albert Mugabe – what yu are saying is that all roads now require reconstruction except roads around state hse and blue roof. You are receiving the funds, do yo job and commence the reconstruction now.

  • zimbotry

    The learned Prof. will blame sanctions

  • zimbotry

    Any revenue collected will end up in a few peoples pockets instead of on our roads. Thats why they Zinara has no money.

  • Fatha

    Paying, yes, you’ll make us pay, but please, let’s segregate the funds based on source. Zinara funds resurfaced borrowdale rd, 2nd street and churchill ave. I don’t want to pay for another section of town at my expense. Right by my gate i have a 15yr old porthole….enough is enough.

  • toaw

    I see your greedy corrupt pockets just can’t be satisfied

  • tonde

    IT costs the Namibian taxpayer about N$1 million to build one kilometre of tarred road, but in a few cases this figure can increase fourfold.
    A director of a company supervising the rebuilding of the
    Okahandja-Otjiwarongo highway said yesterday it would cost N$980
    000 for every kilometre.
    Hendrik Johannes Kruger from Windhoek Consulting Engineers (WCE)

  • JongweRachembera

    Sanctions are a myth made up as an excuse for incompetence by a government that’s been in power for 37 years bereft of ideas and full of greedy and corrupt sycophants. There will be no progress in Harare or any part of Zimbabwe as long as this illegitimate and incompetent bunch of idiots continue to rule us to death.