Zinara owes Harare council $15m

HARARE - Zinara still owes Harare City Council (HCC)road maintenance money from 2015, HCC has revealed.

Environmental management committee minutes, reveal councillors bitterly complained that Zinara had promised them funds for road maintenance but did not deliver.

“Harare City Council expected no less than $15 million for the 2017 allocation, considering the state of the roads, this was the minimum council would expect from Zinara,” the minutes read.

“The committee noted that the previous year 2016, Zinara had disbursed $1,7 million and council was owed road and maintenance grants by Zinara dating back to 2015 which the latter should and had promised to pay.”

The environmental committee argued that Harare had not had any meaningful routine maintenance in the last 15 years and the current heavy rains had left the roads in a bad state.

“The funds were inadequate for the repair of maintenance of the 7 000 kilometre of roads, drains, public lighting, traffic lights and other street furniture,” the Herbert Gomba-led committee said.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said the City could not ascertain how much was owed as Zinara dictates their disbursements to the local authority.

“We do not have any say in how much we receive because Zinara only tells us what they will give. However, the city needs $800 million to fix the road network,” Chideme said.

During the rainy season, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere declared Harare’s roads a state of disaster due to their extensive damage.

Kasukuwere said council had failed to fix the roads as 60 percent of the 7 000km network was impassable due to potholes.

To remedy the situation, HCC was set to introduce concrete roads, with acting town clerk Josephine Ncube saying that they last longer and are cheaper to maintain than bitumen roads.

Ncube said the pilot would be done along Arcturus road and once successful, will be spread out to the rest of the city.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said residents should not blame the city for the lack of road maintenance.

“Residents should focus their complaints on potholes and poor roads to Zinara and not HCC. We should be getting about $40 million per year from Zinara for road maintenance but they are only remitting $1 million, which is not enough for standard repairs,” he said.

Comments (1)

It is quite amazing that a government can decide to cut its nose to spite its face like this. While the ZINARA formation was a noble cause to address the deterioration on the national highways, maybe from 40 kilometers of cities, funding should have been from the fuel levy and a portion of vehicle licencing and transit fees for foreign vehicles. The government instead so it fit to use ZINARA as a tool to starve the MDC led local authorities, causing urban roads to further deteriorate so as to point fingers at the MDC councils. This is gross evil at its highest order and those who crafted this scheme in 2002 must be ashamed of themselves!!!!

MR COOPER - 13 April 2017

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