Mutare needs $2 million to rehabilitate roads

MUTARE - Mutare City Council requires $2 million to maintain its badly scarred road network.

Addressing journalists after a full council meeting this week, Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhamarare said the current spell of heavy rains had compounded the mountainous city’s woes.

“To maintain the roads of Mutare, we need about $2 million. We are only expecting to get about $300 000 this year which is inadequate to meet our needs as a city,” Nhamarare said.

This comes after Local Government minister Savior Kasukuwere last week Friday gazetted the Declaration of State of Disaster on the extensive damage to roads and related road network infrastructure under General Notice 129 of 2017.

The mayor said they were pleading with Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) to avail resources to ease the challenge.

“We still face challenges with Zinara just like any other local authority in Zimbabwe and it is my humble appeal to the Zinara leadership, which they can see that the state of the roads and the amount of rainfall the city of Mutare has received, has made the dilapidated road network get worse by the day,” Nhamarare said.

He said they have had to write a request to the road authority highlighting the areas that require attention.

“We hope they will respond positively,” the mayor said.

Nhamarare said the city is constrained by inadequate road maintenance resources.

“At the moment, we are hamstrung as a local authority because we currently only have one grader and one tipper truck. This equipment is inadequate to cater for our needs,” he said.

Zinara collects around $130 million annually from road access fees, vehicle licensing fees, transit fees and fuel levy, among other revenue streams, for routine maintenance of roads.

Zinara also collects $50 million through toll fees nationally, minus the Plumtree-Mutare road whose fees are ring-fenced to pay back the Development Bank of Southern Africa loan which financed the project.

Its vehicle licensing revenue is, however, depressed due to a high number of unregistered vehicles which experts estimate at around 270 000.

Earlier this year, it disbursed about $45 million towards rehabilitation of roads in eight provinces following a public outcry over the poor roads.

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