Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Hard-pressed motorists will have to dig deeper into their depleted pockets for toll fees, after the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) announced yesterday that it was increasing the number of tollgates on the country’s highways.

This comes as Parliament released a damning report in which it recommended that Zinara be stripped of its powers to collect motor vehicle licence fees — with this function to be restored to local authorities.

“Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) advises the motoring public that with effect from tomorrow (today), five new tollgates will be operationalised in terms of Toll Roads (National Road Network) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (No.8),” Zinara spokesperson Augustine Moyo said.

Moyo said the new tollgates would be commissioned between today and September 28. 
First to be commissioned will be the Chivhu-Nyazura tollgate — which is located about 18 kilometres from Chivhu town.

The Bulawayo-Beitbridge tollgate, which is located about 30 kilometres from Gwanda, is expected to be commissioned on Friday.

Lothian tollgate, which is located along the Mutare-Masvingo road, will be operationalised on September 26 — while the Mufurudzi tollgate will be commissioned on September 28.
The Mufurudzi tollgate is located 24 kilometres outside Bindura.

Some good news of sorts, Moyo said, was that Zinara would not be increasing its toll fees.
The new tollgates are expected to improve Zinara’s revenue collections, which would see the authority netting an additional $130 million annually from road fees, vehicle licensing, transit fees and the fuel levy.

Earlier this year, the government revealed that it was still in the process of servicing its $206 million loan sourced from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) about seven years ago to rehabilitate the 820-kilometre Plumtree-Bulawayo-Harare-Mutare highway.

The national roads manager has taken a lot of flak from contractors and local authorities for disbursing money late for the rehabilitation of roads.

The parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development also recently recommended that Zinara ceases collecting motor vehicle licence fees and restore that function to municipalities and local authorities.

The committee said the road manager had failed to disburse on time what was due to councils.
“This House resolves that Zinara ceases to collect termly motor vehicle licence fees, thereby restoring that function to Harare City Council and all other respective municipalities and local authorities.

“Zinara should adopt by December 2018 the principle of ‘ease of doing business,’ and improve their payment system on disbursements of funds to local authorities and contractors,” the committee said.
In terms of the law, Zinara is supposed to remit funds to local authorities, who then work to ensure that roads around their areas are maintained. Daily News


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