HARARE – Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) is remitting paltry funds to the Harare City Council, city officials have said.
Allan Markham, council’s finance chairperson, said the local authority is struggling to repair and maintain its 4 000 km surfaced roads since vehicle licensing was transferred to Zinara in 2010.
“You are most probably aware that vehicle licence fees are ordinarily used to fund road maintenance programmes, however, funds coming to the city from Zinara have progressively gone down to a point where, in the current year, the city is yet to receive the first instalment of its allocation,” Markham said.
“You may want to be reminded that since the transfer of vehicle licensing to Zimpost, road maintenance programmes continue to suffer from the negative impact of this development.
“To date, Zinara has disbursed assets and materials valued at $750 000 against a conservative annual expectation of $15 million in the year under review,” Markham said during council’s budget presentation last week.
Augustine Moyo, the Zinara spokesperson was unreachable for comment yesterday. But Zinara recently handed over to the city — a pothole patcher valued at $550 000 and other relevant materials.
But these, according to Markham, “remain a far cry if the vehicle population is anything to go by”.
Figures released by Zimra show that a total of 14 114 vehicles were imported through Beitbridge between January 1 and May 31 this year compared to 10 851 vehicles during the same period last year.
During the last quarter of last year, the city treasurer, Misheck Mubvumbi said the council collected $7,5 million in 2009, $6 million in 2010 but Zinara had remitted $2,6 and $1,2 million respectively for the past two years.
Tendai Muchada, the Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) programmes manager, said poor remittances from Zinara could result in the local authority dipping its fingers into the rates account to fix roads.
“Lastly, the non-remittance of funds for road maintenance by Zinara is forcing our local authority to pick pocket service delivery funds channelling them towards road maintenance through viraments,” said Muchada.