Harare blames Zinara for bad roads

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THE City of Harare (Harare) claims it has failed to rehabilitate most of its road network after receiving limited funding from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).

In its 2021 budget proposal presented by Finance and Development Committee chairperson Tichaona Mhetu on Thursday night, Harare said Zinara was not disbursing requisite funds for road works which had hampered
their ability to fulfil set targets.

Mhetu said they had only managed to work on 1,1km of the city roads after receiving $46,5 million.

“We have not done well in the roads programmes due to funding constraints. This year we had targeted to do 120km, but we have only done 1,1km.

“This sector relies heavily on Zinara funds and we have received only $46,5 million, which is inadequate for works in the roads programme,” Mhetu said. “We are mulling to introduce a Road Fund, Infrastructure Development Levy for our public and street lighting.

“We will engage other public utilities for operationalisation of this grand plan targeted for urban infrastructure growth.

“It must be acknowledged that the amount allocated is paltry and our bid is for Zinara to avail more funding for capital works and, therefore, we have put the intended projects in a Capital Development Plan 2022-2024.

“If funds are availed earlier, then these projects will be brought back to 2021. “We constantly request for more funds to implement road works but

Zinara does not respond positively to our pleas.”

How ever, Zinara spokesperson Tendai Mugabe yesterday said they have always engaged  Harare and fulfilled their
part of the bargain.

“We have fully disbursed funds to the City of Harare as per their request.

“We are 100 percent up to date and we have never delayed. We have been in touch with them on a frequent basis.
“As late as last Wednesday, they have been at our offices and we are well-aligned.

“If they have issues, they should come forward so that we can discuss,” Mugabe said.

Harare residents said the council’s excuse was unacceptable considering the deplorable conditions of the road system which has caused numerous accidents.

“The City of Harare needs to take full responsibility for their given mandates and stop placing blame elsewhere all the time.

“They refuse to be held accountable for their glaring shortcomings yet are quick to point out the shortcomings of other public entities.

“The City of Harare needs to acknowledge that they are not in control of Zinara funds. “They must be lobbying together with other local authorities for a formula for distribution of roads funds administered by the Zinara.

“It is evident that Zinara is unaccountable to local authorities and there is no equality in the distribution of funds,” Harare Residents Trust chairperson Precious Shumba said.

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