ZIMBABWE National Road Administration (Zinara) yesterday said it was not responsible for the dilapidated state of roads across the country, insisting that its mandate was to collect funds and disburse them to road authorities.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year declared the country’s roads a state of national disaster.
Addressing journalists yesterday, Zinara board chairperson George Manyaya said the road authority’s mandate was to collect fees or any other revenue of the Road Fund and allocate and disburse the funds to road authorities in line with the respective Roads and Public Finance and Management Acts.
Manyaya said road authorities were responsible for ensuring that roads throughout the country are well maintained.
“The rebranded Zinara will continue to practise transparency, accountability and disclosure. The funds we hold are public funds, belong to the people of Zimbabwe, hence gone are the days when the nation was not aware of what has been disbursed and to who,” Manyaya said.
“The road authorities that we disburse to are, the Department of Roads under the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry, the District Development Fund (DDF) in the Office of the President and Cabinet and the various urban and rural district councils. All entities falling under these road authority groups are thereafter responsible for the maintenance of our road networks. Let me emphasise that our role as a fund administrator is limited to availing funding to road authorities.
“After funding is received by the respective road authorities, we do follow the impact of the disbursed funds by monitoring and evaluating their use, hence our mandate is to audit the 93 road authorities in the country to ensure that the funds have, indeed, been used for their intended purpose.”
“In our engagements with the road authorities, we always emphasise the importance of delivering quality road maintenance to ensure that the limited funds are stretched further over the years to avoid a scenario where contractors have to attend to patching work recurrently.”
Zinara has set a budget of $17 billion for roads this year.
From the $17 billion, the Department of Roads will get $6 billion, DDF ($4,52bn), Harare City Council ($1bn), Bulawayo City Council ($338 million), Gweru Urban Council ($196m), Mutare Urban Council ($163m), Masvingo City Council ($122m), Mashonaland East ($519m), Mashonaland Central ($451m), Manicaland ($444m), Mashonaland West ($741m), Masvingo ($361m), Midlands ($661m), Matabeleland North ($524m) and Matabeleland South ($495m).
Manyaya said Zinara targeted to collect $34 billion this year.
He said 95% would go towards roads and 5% to administration, as well as repayment of the US$206 million loan facility from the Development Bank of Southern Africa which is being utilised to construct the Plumtree-Mutare Highway.
Zinara said it had taken measures to safeguard its revenue by tightening security through installing CCTV at tollgates.