Local authorities get $75bn for road rehab Mr Stanley Gama

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

Most local authorities are making significant progress in road maintenance works such as re-gravelling, pothole patching and verge clearing among other works from the more than $75 billion allocated to them by Zinara.

Zinara disbursed more than $75 billion for road infrastructure maintenance between January and September to all the local authorities countrywide which is a component of the disbursement that they have done so far.

The road fund administrator gave the third quarter disbursement schedule on its official website and other online platforms yesterday.

Beneficiaries are the Department of Roads under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, the District Development Fund under the Office of the President and Cabinet, urban councils and rural district councils.

The disbursement of funds is made only after the road authorities submit a claim certificate, which is called an interim payment certificate .

Meanwhile, some of the beneficiaries have confirmed that they received their allocations.

Harare City Council head of corporate communications Mr Stanley Gama yesterday confirmed that the council had received their allocation of over $8,1 billion from Zinara.

“Yes we have received it. The initial budget of $2,2 billion was exhausted by August and we had a supplementary budget of a total of $13,6 billion and out of this we utilised $7,5 billion on routine and programmed maintenance work.

“However, once we have finished with the acquittals we will then draw down the remainder,” he said.

Mr Gama said some of the roads which have been attended to are Grosvener, Genova, Lavender, Chimhanda, Sloane while routine maintenance were being conducted all over the city.

Beitbridge Rural District Council chief executive Mr Peter Moyo said they were yet to receive their allocation for this year from ZINARA.

“We are yet to receive the funds and we are expecting to get our allocation soon,” he said.

Gweru City Council spokesperson Ms Vimbai Chingwaramuse said the local authority received $947 384 670 which was used to rehabilitate some of the roads in Mkoba.

“The money was used as follows, we paid $855 million towards the road rehabilitation of Igonte and Chidanana roads in Mkoba.

“An amount of $2,9 million was used to partly service Champion Grader and buy PPE for road workers and tar and cement,” she said.

Bulawayo Mayor Councillor David Coltart was quoted saying there was a need to appreciate the gravity of the issue of the deplorable state of their roads and come up with smart solutions.

“In the meantime, the engineering department, if it has not started already, needs to have a compilation of all the damaged roads and we classify them according to priority. Some minor roads can be gravelled, but the major roads need serious attention.”

Bulawayo City was allocated $817 014 116,08 this year and $752 431 477,38 has been disbursed so far.

In Mashonaland West province, a disbursement of $654 million was done by Zinara to rural district councils while $1,4 billion was allocated to all eight urban councils.

Hurungwe Rural District Council acting chief executive Felistas Muteta said they received $22 million towards the rehabilitation of some roads in the district.

“Yes we have received the amount which is roughly about six percent of our allocation. We have used some of it towards road rehabilitation,” she said.

Makonde RDC chief executive, Mr Paradzayi Munyede also said the $21 million they received had been used to purchase cement and quarry stone for restoration of bridges.

“We are hoping to receive the remaining amount. So far, we have purchased quarry stones and cement to repair some of the bridges so that we improve movement of people and, goods and services.

“As you know, we have approached the rainy season, so our roads have to be passable to avoid loss of lives while at the same time improve movement of farming inputs,” he said.

Zvimba RDC which has received over $380 million, is basking in the glory of tarred roads and rehabilitated gravel road network system.

Mr Enias Chidakwa CEO of the council confirmed receiving the amount saying the funds had been used to rehabilitate gravel roads in the rural part of the council while two major roads in Banket Town were tarred.

In a statement yesterday, Zinara confirmed that significant progress has since been recorded for planned projects across the country which have gone a long way to improve road networks for ease of access to various key services by members of the public.

The amount disbursed so far is considerable and more is anticipated to be disbursed given the approval of the revised budget as at September 3, 2023.

It is expected that as road authorities continue to tender their Interim Payment Certificate reports during the course of the 4th quarter, more funding will be availed to them so as to accelerate outstanding projects before the end of the year.

Zinara head of corporate communications and marketing Mrs Tsungie Manyeza said that while these disbursements to date have been significant in delivering various road maintenance projects, it had also gone a long way to provide social and economic benefits to members of the community.

“Its common knowledge that a good road network is a catalyst to economic development as it provides efficient movement of goods and people. We are therefore beginning to take a greater interest in looking beyond the disbursement transaction to see how far the road fund is going to deliver a positive social impact as we work towards attaining an upper middle income society,” Mrs Manyeza said.

Meanwhile, with regards to the approval of the revised budget, Mrs Manyeza said the review was timely as the road fund had since exhausted the initial budget, meaning the road authorities were now stretched in terms of the requisite resources for their planned projects.

“The approval of the supplementary budget was a welcome move because it helped to restore the value of the funds that we are disbursing to the road authorities and will improve the capacity for road authorities to undertake their various planned projects,” she said.

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