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Zinara disburses ZW$219 billion for road maintenance



THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) says it used 88% of its ZW$868 billion gross revenue collection in 2023 on the maintenance of roads, with urban councils using most of their budgets.


The gross revenue comprised of 38% contribution from the country’s 29 tolling points, while licensing fees contributed 34%, up from 30% in 2022.

According to Zinara’s business overview and disbursements report for 2023 presented by chief executive officer Nkosinathi Ncube, the parastatal disbursed ZW$219 billion to four road authorities, with over 20 road authorities claiming 100% of their allocated funds, while a considerable handful still accessed below 75%.

The provinces with the highest uptake were Harare metropolitan and Manicaland, both claiming about 97% of their budgets. Lowest claims were from Bulawayo metropolitan, Masvingo and Matabeleland North provinces, which accessed less than 65% of their budgets.
Urban councils in total claimed a combined 81% of their allocated budgets while rural councils accessed 71%.

According to the report, in 2023, periodic maintenance projects undertaken accounted for 220 kilometres reconstructed and rehabilitated roads, while 71km were resealed.

633km were re-gravelled and spot re-gravelling was done on 17 633km, while pothole patching accounted for 6 904.69km and gravel patching constituted 2 19755km.

“The failure to access full disbursement allocation in some instances is mainly attributed to a handicap in acquitting and submission of Interim Payment Certificates to qualify for the next funds draw down. Road Authorities that have successfully accessed their full budgets have gone on to undertake good work in their respective jurisdiction and they must be applauded for their effectiveness and efficiency in using road user fees to implement tangible programmes,” reads the report.

“Meanwhile, it is important to note that the Department of Roads (DOR) and Rural Infrastructural Development Agency (RIDA) disbursements are implemented on roads across all provinces, thereby adding to the total disbursement amount channelled through Road authorities in those areas. For example, road projects amounting to an equivalent of US$40million were implemented through DOR in Harare.”

According to the report, licensing revenue also grew in the year due to access to licensing services at tollgates for the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), Zinara and Vehicle Inspection Directorate (VID).

“This, complemented by roadside enforcement operations and marketing promotions, has improved licensing gradually and we anticipate continued growth in the current year. Fuel levies, transit fees contributed 15% and 11% respectively. Overall, traffic volumes through the main revenue streams grew by an average of 7% against prior year,” reads the report.

While most of the country’s roads have largely been in a shambolic state, Zinara said the parastatal is only mandated with allocating funds for gazetted roads.

Most of the roads have been derelict, with a report by the parliamentary committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development presented in December by chairperson Knowledge Kaitano, showing that 90% of the road network is in a shambles.

The report says plans to revamp the road network are going to be further blighted by the meagre funding allocated to the parent ministry in the 2024 National Budget.

However, Zinara board chairperson George Manyaya said the parastatal is only mandated with disbursing funds to gazetted roads.

“Despite efforts that we are making to fund the maintenance of our road infrastructure, we are aware of concerns that roads in some urban settlements have remained in a bad state, and it may appear like Zinara has turned a blind eye on them,” Manyaya said.

“Allow me to share with you that Zinara funds are only used on gazetted roads and most roads in new suburbs are not yet gazetted. The responsibility of constructing new roads remains a prerogative of respective road authorities through their internal budgets and other innovative initiatives.

“We have also noted that some housing developers are not fully servicing stands to ensure that all amenities such as roads and sewer are in place before people start building their houses. We therefore duly implore our local authorities to strictly supervise the housing developers to ensure that they deliver quality and completed projects to members of the public.”

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