Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe National Road Administration and Harare City Council have embarked on a road rehabilitation and pothole patching exercise expected to cost $20 million. Council and Zinara officials last Wednesday toured roads in Glen Norah and parts of Highglen Road. In an interview, acting Zinara chief executive officer Engineer Moses Juma said they partnered the city after officials submitted plans in January to rehabilitate the roads.
He said money had already been disbursed to fund the programme. “We have partnered the City of Harare for the purposes of road maintenance. They have submitted a programme and they are targeting certain roads covering about 20km where they want to put new surface and resealing,” he said.
Eng Juma said there was need for city officials to engage residents in the wards to carry out pothole patching, grass cutting and storm drain clearance, among other jobs.
“So far they have recruited 450 people who are on the ground. All the suburbs have come up with initiatives to engage locals. With this initiative, we feel we can create employment which is a key deliverable in Zim-Asset,” said Eng Juma.
“It will also empower our communities and bring ownership of road infrastructure within the community,” he said.
Harare Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube said they had not been getting much funding from Zinara since they stopped collecting licensing fees from motorists.
“But starting towards the end of last year, we have come up with a working system with Zinara where we get support which is commensurate with the level of our road network and also the level of traffic on our roads,” Mrs Ncube said.
She said engineers had undertaken a survey and would focus on the major roads first. Mrs Ncube said the road network in Harare was about 7 000km, most of them e in a poor state.
“The level of funding is not sufficient, and we are trying to find a working formula. I am happy that Zinara is responding. Our budget for the roads so far is $20 million. “We have set aside an $8 million budget while at least $9 million will come from Zinara,” she said.
Residential areas set to benefit from the road rehabilitation include Westlea, Mandara, Highlands, Budiriro, Glenview, Glen Norah, Highfield and Hatfield.