Harare City Council (HCC) has blamed the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) for its failure to rehabilitate roads.
The local government authority says Zinara has not yet disbursed all the funds which the council had requested for the rehabilitation of road networks.
These allegations were made by HCC’S Finance and Development Committee chairperson Tichaona Mhetu on Thursday night in the council’s 2021 budget proposal. Mhetu said Harare only received a paltry ZW$46,5 million. He added:
We have not done well in the roads programmes due to funding constraints. This year we had targeted to do 120km, but we have only done 1,1km.
This sector relies heavily on Zinara funds and we have received only $46,5 million, which is inadequate for works in the roads programme.
Mhetu added that Harare was panning to introduce a Road Fund, Infrastructure Development Levy for public and street lighting.
He also said the council will engage other public utilities for operationalisation of the plan targeted for urban infrastructure growth.
Meanwhile, Zinara spokesperson Tendai Mugabe told Daily News on Saturday that the parastatal has always engaged Harare and fulfilled its obligations. Mugabe said:
We are 100 percent up to date and we have never delayed. We have been in touch with them on a frequent basis.
As late as last Wednesday, they have been at our offices and we are well-aligned.
If they have issues, they should come forward so that we can discuss.
Some roads in Harare have been regarded as death traps due to their bad state and this has infuriated residents and ratepayers. Harare Residents’ Trust Chairperson, Precious Shumba said:
The City of Harare needs to take full responsibility for their given mandates and stop placing blame elsewhere all the time.
They refuse to be held accountable for their glaring shortcomings yet are quick to point out the shortcomings of other public entities.
He proposed that Harare needs to acknowledge that it was not in control of Zinara funds and engage other local authorities and established a formula for distribution of roads funds administered by the Zinara.
Shumba added that it was evident that Zinara is unaccountable to local authorities adding that “there is no equality in the distribution of funds.”
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