AS the government runs around to get funding to rebuild the country’s dilapidated road infrastructure, an opposition lawmaker has given notice to move a motion that will stop a State parastatal from collecting licence fees.
By VENERANDA LANGA
Harare West legislator, Jessie Majome wants to introduce a law that forces the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) to cede the collection of vehicle licensing fees to local authorities particularly Harare City Council.
Majome said the poor state of the roads, as well as failure by Zinara to remit 10% of the revenue it collects from vehicle licensing fees to municipalities for road maintenance, had forced her into action.
“Zinara took over from Harare City Council and other municipalities the collection of termly vehicle licensing fees, 10% of which revenue would be retained by municipalities for road maintenance. I am concerned that Zinara fails to disburse to Harare City Council sufficient money to maintain roads despite the bulk of the nation’s fleet being domiciled in Harare,” she said.
Majome said local authorities have in the past managed road maintenance commendably, but the situation deteriorated in the last four years after Zinara took over the revenue collection.
“I am further disturbed by the lack of transparency, inequity in disbursement and misappropriation of revenues from motorists by Zinara, which is not in the national interest as exemplified by the recent purchase of graders with snow ploughs,” the lawmaker said.
The MP said her arguments in introducing the motion in Parliament are in line with section 264 (f) of the Constitution, which stipulates transfer of responsibilities and resources from national government in order to establish a sound financial base for each provincial council and local authority.
“Remittances to Zinara must be suspended until all their roads are in a demonstrably recovered state. Zinara must disburse to Harare City Council by July 2017 all the arrears it had undertaken to pay and by December 2017 to all other local authorities,” she said.
So bad are the roads in Harare that central government last week declared the situation a state of disaster.
Ministry of Transport employees were also forced to work overtime patching up the route President Robert Mugabe was to use as he returned from his annual vacation, as well as the one he uses to go to his Borrowdale home.