Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration has released $1,7 million in emergency road funds to Harare City Council for the rehabilitation of the city’s roads, which were recently declared a state of disaster.
Harare is expecting at least $15 million for its 2017 allocation considering the state of the city’s roads.
According to the recent minutes of the Environmental Management Committee, councillors noted that Zinara had disbursed $1,7 million in 2016 and council was owed road and maintenance grants by Zinara dating back to 2015, which the road authority had promised to pay.
Last year, Zinara announced that it had allocated $1,2 million for road maintenance, but it is still to release the funds.
“The committee further noted that the funds were inadequate for the repair or maintenance of the 7 000km of roads, drains, public lighting, traffic signals and other street furniture,” read the minutes.
The road network had not had any meaningful routine maintenance over the last 15 years and the current heavy rains left the road network in a bad state.
“Council now discussed the matter expressing concern at the poor state of the road network in the city and observed that the state of the city’s roads was as a result of severe underfunding since the takeover of the vehicle licensing function by Zinara.”
Responding to the allocation of $1,2 million last year, Harare Mayor Cllr Bernard Manyenyeni said the allocation spelt doom for Harare roads.
“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. Goodbye roads for now,” he said.
“We expect $40 million to $70 million per year and you would notice it working. We can’t be taking money for water treatment to fix roads.”