Zim spends $45m on road rehabilitation

HARARE - Zimbabwe has spent $45 million on road rehabilitation, disbursed through State road fund administrator Zinara, with government looking into its coffers for more, Vice President (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

The VP yesterday said the money had been channelled mostly towards road upgrades, following the heavy rains that have devastated the country’s road network.

“$45 million has been disbursed for road rehabilitation through Zinara, this year to date.

“They keep working to ensure that the state of our roads improves…,” Mnangagwa told delegates at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

He also said the President Robert Mugabe was set to commission the dualisation of the Harare-Masvingo highway in two weeks’ time.

“In the next the weeks the president will be launching the dualisation of the Harare-Masvingo highway,” Mnangagwa said

Admitting that the state of the country’s roads remained dismal, Mnangagwa also hinted that he would approach Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo to reduce the heavy police presence on the country’s roads.

“Yes, our roads are not really the best at the moment. I have received complaints from the tourism sector about roadblocks, and I will speak to minister Chombo on this…” he said.

This comes as reports indicated that Zinara has approved plans to borrow up to $100 million from local banks to repair the country’s road network that has been affected by heavy rains.

According to a local weekly, shareholders approved the decision at an annual general meeting held in Harare last week.

“We got authorisation to borrow and we are pursuing that soon. In fact, we had anticipated the authorisation and had already begun preparatory work for the borrowing and soon we will be getting into the local market to source funds.

“We are looking to borrow anything from $50 million up to $100 million.

“The purpose of which is specifically to attend to the road network in light of the unprecedented collapse due to heavy rains which we received,” board chair Albert Mugabe was quoted as saying.

The decision comes as Zimbabwe’s roads have been left in a deplorable state by heavy rains.

Bridges have been swept away by floods while major roads and highways are littered with potholes, posing a risk to motorists.

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.

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