HARARE – The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) has hit back at Harare mayor Jacob Mafume who claimed this week the government entity was starving the cash-strapped local authority of enough funding to maintain its damaged road infrastructure.
Mafume was up in arms with ZINARA for allegedly collecting huge sums of money in vehicle licencing fees and yet disbursing a paltry amount for council to maintain its potholed roads.
This is after the government transferred the vehicle licensing portfolio from local authorities into the hands of ZINARA.
“That is when the problems of failure to repair and maintain roads and the attendant infrastructure began and the results are visible on the ground for all to see,” Mafume had said.
Responding to the Harare mayor Wednesday, ZINARA CEO Nkosinathi Ncube accused the opposition CCC politician of peddling falsehood and grandstanding.
“Whilst we don’t want to respond to rhetoric, we feel duty bound to inform the nation with facts on certain inaccuracies,” Ncube said.
“Firstly, we want to categorically state that ZINARA has consistently disbursed funds for road rehabilitation and maintenance to all the Road Authorities, City of Harare included.
“According to the dictates of the Roads Act, a Road Authority can only access a new disbursement from ZINARA after acquitting its previous disbursement.”
He added that the City of Harare was allocated ZWL86 million in 2020 but the local authority failed to utilise the funds including those from the 2022 fourth quarter disbursement.
“It could be translated using the prevailing exchange rate at the time and ZINARA disbursed 100 percent of that amount and the City of Harare failed to acquit their last disbursement.
“As a result, they failed to access an early disbursement in 2021.
“The City of Harare’s allocation for 2021 was ZWL1,3 billion which again can be translated to USD using the exchange rate at the time.
“However, the City of Harare only requested ZWL154 million of this total allocation and failed to utilise in excess of ZWL1,1 billion.
“In 2022, they are yet to acquit their fourth quarter disbursement of ZWL566 million despite the fact that most Road Authorities have already acquitted their 2022 disbursements.
“This means that even if funds were to be disbursed today as per the ZINARA schedule for 2023, Harare residents will still be deprived of service delivery until their Road Authority follows the dictates of the Road Act.”