ZIMRAs tollgate targets

HARARE - The Department of Roads is expecting to collect US$18 million from tollgates, to be used for road maintenance, an official has said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, Patson Mbiriri, said that to date Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has managed to raise US$6.7 million.

“However, after the deductions of 10 per cent ZIMRA administration fees and ZRP support fees, a total of US$5.8 million was disbursed to Zinara (Zimbabwe National Roads Authority),” said Mbiriri.

Tollgates were introduced in September last year to raise funds for maintenance and to upgrade the Regional Trunk Road Network (RTRN) after the government decided to use the ‘user pays concept’.

However, this has sparked an outcry from motorists who feel that nothing much has been done to upgrade the roads. Most argue that roads are still characterised by potholes which make driving a nightmare.

The Permanent Secretary said the money that was collected through tollgate fees was not meant to assist the local authorities.

“I want to make this clear to everyone, local authorities are supposed to use vehicle licence fees for maintenance of their roads. Zinara also funds them for maintenance of roads from fuel levies and so forth after submitting roadwork programmes to Zinara. Although they receive a certain percentage from Zinara, the bulk of the money they are expected to raise is through taxes.

Therefore all local authorities have an obligation to improve their roads,” he said.

Mbiriri said road maintenance was already underway with some projects finished and others near completion.

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