Zinara's $400,000 debt stalls council projects

The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration owes the local authority here $400 000. The debt has stalled critical development projects meant to enhance and rehabilitate the road network, which is in a dire state.

ZINARA, an arm of the ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, administers all the toll gates in the country and is mandated to disburse part of the proceeds of its many revenue streams to local authorities for the purposes of rehabilitation of transport infrastructure.

However, despite the considerable revenue ZINARA is realising from two tollgates located at either end of Gweru along the Harare-Bulawayo highway, it has been revealed that the organisation owes the city $400 000.

The council’s Acting Director of Engineering services, Praymore Mhlanga, told The Zimbabwean that failure to disburse the fund had stalled critical projects that the local authority had embarked on in a bid to improve the traffic and road networks.

“One of the projects that has been badly affected by the failure to disburse the $400 000 fund they owe us is that of solar traffic lights installation. We had hoped to use part of the money to fund the project but now we are stuck. Out of 16 intersections on which we had planned to install solar-traffic lights, we have only managed to do four. In fact the contractor who was to do the job has pulled out because of lack of funds to proceed. We also need the money to improve our roads which are in bad state due to potholes,” he said.

Transport Minister Obert Mpofu early this year admitted that the organisation’s management was violating good corporate governance systems that include transparency and accountability. This followed revelations that the organisation had posted a cumulative debt of $40 million as of November last year. Some top officials at the parastatal, who include finance director Thomas Mutizhe, were relieved of their duties last year as a result of this.

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