Zinara blames heavy taxes for bad roads

HARARE - Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has admitted that the country’s roads are now a “national embarrassment”, but argued they could not do much as a huge chunk of their revenue was being gobbled by heavy taxes.

The Administration refused to shoulder the blame for the country’s derelict roads, contending that local authorities were not prioritising repairs.

“In 2016, we collected $173 million and we disbursed $122 million and that includes commitment on the Plumtree to Mutare road,” its chief executive, Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa, told Parliament’s Transport committee on Monday.

“Tied to the balance are obligations of repayment of the DBSA (Development Bank of Southern Africa) loan which is taking quite a huge chunk, we also have cost of revenue collection for our agencies, we also have administration costs,” she added.

“Since 2009, the tax that has been accessed from Zinara and Infralink adds up to about $113 million and if you look at our revenue of $195 million, that is a very significant figure . . . as of now we are sitting on a garnish of

$24 million for Zinara and $23 for Infralink, adding up to $47 million…we have been given a temporary relief by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa,” Masiyiwa-Chamisa said.

“Should we pay the $47 million, it is almost an equivalent to annual allocation to road authorities,” she said.

Zinara board chairperson Albert Mugabe also said:  “What drives us as Zinara is a safe and trafficable network, if we look at our capital city, it is an embarrassment to ourselves that as the leaders involved in maintenance, the road maintenance has fallen in such a state of disrepair . . . but we also have to use what we have so that we get what we want.”

The Zinara bosses said the road infrastructure was in a state of disrepair because municipalities were not prioritising repairs.

The road agency noted that “more than $8 million was collected” from parking fees in Harare, yet the city’s roads remained in a bad state.

“In Harare, there are 7 000 parking bays being charged at $1 an hour,” Mugabe told the committee .

“If we make a modest assumption that each parking bay is occupied for five hours a day, that means Harare is collecting $35 000 a day. Multiply that by a week of five days and further multiply that by 12 months, Harare is collecting no less than $8 million from parking.

“It is our humble submission that parking should accrue to Zinara, we are amenable that parking collected in Harare must be used on Harare roads to effect that.

“This $8 million be deposited into the Harare City Council account for the city’s roads but that Zinara be allowed to audit the financial and technical use of that money.

“We find ourselves in this situation where the city’s roads are an absolute disaster because there is currently a lack of qualitative job being done.”

Comments (4)

On a second reading, this article is full of lies, wrong figures and fiction. Tax??? 122million? It doesn't reflect in the Budget!! Nzira dzezvikochikari in Hwedza are better !!

selele - 15 February 2017

The ZIMRA Board Chair is one nutcase and there is need to review the CEO's CV. You fail to account for revenue collected from roads you did not create nor whose construction you did not fund. This is a typical ZINWA Part 2, the government should have learnt from that experiment that infrastructure should not just be inherited as inexperience leads to wrong the tendencies regarding money accruing from revenues. Clearly the Zinara team was clueless about road maintenance and thought they could divert the maintenance funds to other projects. How can one justify diversion of local roads user fees to justify funding for one national road. if the tolling fees for the Plumtree-Mutare are not enough, why dont they focus on restructuring the loan instead of making road users suffer from their lack of financial acumen?

murehwa - 15 February 2017

The problem with third world countries is we still think that highly educated pple are always good for any job which totally and can do it properly and that is rubbish of course , We need highly hands on pple not accountancy to lead such high technical jobs bcse they know nothing about fixing things .We have no hands on workers but have highly qualified people on paper who can not even fix a broke kitchen unit door at their homes . All the roads which we have at present well all done by whites some 50 years ago who most of them were not educated but highly hands on pple simple and the ones that are being built by educated Zimbabweans do not last one rain season . We need to employ all artisans with experience to lead companies like ZINARA who have worked for private big companies for minimum of 15 years as Artisans not these educated know nothing pple we are employing will get us no way. The bottom line is Zinara is being run by chancers who think that fixing our roads to fill pot wholes with gravel . nonsense . .

Diibulaanyika - 16 February 2017

All these state run enterprises - ZINARA ZINWA ZESA ZRP ZIMRA NRZ CAAZ etc etc operate on partisan and nepotistic lines deliberately so so as to fund party and other illicit government dealings i.e. all-terrain 4x4 latest 2 vehicles for each high court judge. The simple task that lies ahead for the new government is to democratise those institutuitions.

Sinyo - 17 February 2017

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