Zinara pines for forex payments
AUTHORITIES say ordinary motorists and bus operators may be able to pay toll fees in United States dollars this festive season, as part of efforts to minimise congestion at tollgates along the country’s major highways.
However, Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza told the Daily News yesterday that a substantive decision on this was subject to approval by Treasury.
He also said the application by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) to use US dollars for toll fees — which had been made through the parent ministry — was a temporary measure to address congestion at busy toll gates.
“The use of US dollars, if granted by the Treasury, is just a temporary measure that the ministry wants to use for this festive season.
“However, my ministry is working on a long-term strategy which includes e-tolling and the use of Zinara cards,” Matiza told the Daily News on the sidelines of the launch of the 2020 Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Festive Season Campaign.
He also said the use of mobile money and bank cards had proved to be problematic because of network and connectivity challenges, further urging motorists to use the Zinara pre-paid card at toll gates instead.
“The Zinara card is easy to use. It’s just a tap and you go. Motorists won’t be delayed at tollgates because the card still works, even when the network is down,” he said.
The current tolling fees for light motor vehicles that fall under class one are $120, while class two vehicles are at $180.
It was not clear yesterday how much motorists would pay in US dollars if Zinara’s application was approved by Treasury.
Meanwhile, Matiza gave a stern warning to transport operators to be responsible on the roads this festive season.
Zimbabwe normally experiences a worrying rise in road accidents during this period, which claim scores of lives.
Last year, at least 91 people perished, while 414 others were injured in 1 141 road accidents during the festive season.
Speeding, driving under the influence, un-roadworthy vehicles and reckless driving are the major causes of these crashes.
“I call upon the owners and drivers of these buses to take steps to ensure the safety of passengers and the travelling public,” Matiza said.
He added that the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID), in conjunction with the police, would be conducting 24-hour patrols on the roads — in order to weed out un-roadworthy vehicles, to reduce road accidents.