Harare bemoans paltry road rehab allocation

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Harare City Council has blamed the government for frustrating efforts to rehabilitate major roads, describing the road rehabilitation funds provided by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) as insignificant.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni told stakeholders attending his last state of the city address last week that the funds received from Zinara were a drop in the ocean.

“The road rehabilitation emergency fund from government enabled the city to start undertaking some meaningful road rehabilitation works. A total of $17 million has been pledged and over $12m has been disbursed to the city,” Manyenyeni said

“To date, slightly over 400km of the city’s road network has been fixed of potholes and rehabilitated, patching of 325km has been done and significant work has been done under the drain clearance programme. The work done is minimal considering the magnitude of the roads problem in Harare,” he said.

At least 800 000 vehicles drive through Harare City Council’s 4 000km road network daily, with 80% of the road network said to be in a bad state.

Manyenyeni said of the 800 000 licensed motor vehicles that ply in Harare, the city could raise $10 million per quarter or $40 million per year, if it was allowed to collect vehicle licence fees.

“It is unlikely that since Zinara took over the collection in 2009, that we have received amounts anywhere close to just one year’s licence collection,” Manyenyeni said.
Harare is among several cities and towns lobbying the central government to allow them to collect vehicle licence fees.