Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has increased to $17 billion this year from $9,5 billion in 2021, the funding to be distributed among road authorities across the country’s 10 provinces.
The biggest chunk of the funding amounting to $6,337 billion will go the Department of Roads to cater for the repair of major roads while the District Development Fund (DDF) will receive $4,5 billion towards feeder roads rehabilitation.
Bulawayo City Council will get $338 232 414, while Harare City Council will receive $1 116 288 970 with other provinces getting their own portions.
The funds will be disbursed under the Government’s ongoing Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP), which has scored major success in restoring sound road infrastructure since its inception in 2021.
Under the guidance of and support from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Treasury, Zinara disbursed $9,5 billion to support Phase 1 and 2 of the ERRP2 intervention.
The funds were disbursed to the road authorities, which include the Department of Roads under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, the District Development Fund under the Office of the President and Cabinet and the various urban and rural district councils.
Under the Zinara schedule presented to the media by board chairperson Dr George Manyaya yesterday, Matabeleland North Province has been allocated $524 610 864, Matabeleland South $495 155 562, Midlands $661 434 426 while Masvingo will receive $361 246 588.
Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo Urban Councils have been allocated $196 249 227, $163 540 928 and $122 170 765 respectively.
Mashonaland East on the other hand was allocated $519 666 261, Mashonaland Central $451 591 400, Manicaland $444 246 412 and Mashonaland West got $741 452 947.
The road rehabilitation works are expected to bring relief to motorists who had raised concern over potholes and destruction of bridges in some places, which has been worsened by the rain season.
In Bulawayo, the council is on record saying that 70 percent of its road network has outlived its lifespan and requires about US$700 million to fix the roads.
Last year the Government had to intervene through the repair of the iconic Siyepambili Drive and other roads in the city.
In his statement, Dr Manyaya said Zinara has a mandate to audit all the 93 road authorities in the country to ensure that the funds allocated were used for their intended purpose.
“It’s not a secret that the current state of our roads is worrisome and resultantly as you may recall His Excellency the President Dr ED Mnangagwa in February 2021 declared all roads to be in a state of national disaster following the heavy rains that we received during the 2020-2021 rainy season,” said Dr Manyaya.
“The President went on to launch the Emergency Rehabilitation Road Programme 2 (ERRP2) to urgently ameliorate the devastation of our road infrastructure.
“The (ERRP2) is in line with the ethos of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) whose key aspirations include Infrastructural Development as a key enabler in attaining Vision 2030.”
He said fund disbursements will start possibly mid-March when rains are anticipated to have subsided.
“Going forward, we have set and finalised the (ERRP2) Funding Strategies for 2022 as we are conscious of the urgency at hand in attending to road works. Accordingly, we have set a budget of $17 billion for disbursements to provinces and major cities,” said Dr Manyaya.
He added that year 2021 was a highly successful year for Zinara in efficiently providing funding for the emergency road works necessitated by Cyclone Idai.
“As the Government goes into Phase 3 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme in 2022, Zinara will continue to employ both internal and external strategies to avail funding for road works.
“We plead with the road authorities to ensure timely acquittals, which are key for them to access the next disbursements,” he said. – @thamamoe.
Article Source: The Chronicle