Another $17 billion will be distributed mid-next month by Zinara to all provinces and local authorities for road maintenance under the next phase of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).
Of the $17 billion, over $6,3 billion will be allocated to the Department of Roads and $4,5 billion for the District Development Fund.
Among the major urban authorities Harare City Council, the third largest beneficiary after the two main Government departments, will receive $1,1 billion, Bulawayo City Council $338 million, Gweru City Council $196,2 million, Mutare City Council $163,5 million and Masvingo City Council $122 million.
The eight non-metropolitan provinces see Mashonaland East with $519,6 million, Mashonaland Central $451,5 million, Manicaland $444 million, Mashonaland West $741 million, Masvingo Province $361 million, Midlands $661 million, Matabeleland North $524 million and Matabeleland South $495 million.
The Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) does not do road work itself, but it is the collection authority for the two sources of revenue that must be spent on roads, the vehicle licence fees and the toll charges. It disburses this money to the road authorities and then follows up to ensure that the money was spent on road works.
Speaking in Harare yesterday, Zinara board chairperson, Dr George Manyaya, said Zinara had set and finalised the funding strategies for this year as they were conscious of the urgency in attending to road works.
“Accordingly, we have set a budget of $17 billion for disbursements to provinces and major cities as indicated. Our projection is to start the disbursements possibly mid- March when we anticipate that the rains would have subsided.
“The allocations comprise disbursements made directly to rural and urban councils for works done through the Department of Roads and the District Development Fund.”
Dr Manyaya said last year was a highly successful year for Zinara in efficiently collecting revenue through licence and toll fees and providing funding for the emergency road works necessitated by Cyclone Idai and the heavy rains received during the 2020-2021 farming season.
“As the Government goes into Phase 3 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme this year, Zinara will continue to employ both internal and external strategies to avail funding for road works.
“We plead with the recipients of the funds to ensure timely acquittals which are key for them to access the next disbursements,” Dr Manyaya said.
Between March and December last year,
Zinara under the guidance of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Treasury, disbursed funds to support Phase 1 and 2 of the ERRP countrywide.
The funds were disbursed to the road authorities.
Dr Manyaya said as the board of a strategic national institution, Zinara found it prudent to open channels of communication with the nation to engage and keep the nation abreast with all their activities to ensure that no one was left behind.
He said Zinara was a road fund manager and was disbursing such funds to road authorities in line with the Roads Act, the Public Finance and Management Act and in line with other policy and procedure frameworks.
“Let me emphasise that our role as a fund administrator is limited to availing funding to the road authorities. After funding is received by the road authorities we do follow the impact of the disbursed public funds by monitoring and evaluating their use; hence our mandate is to audit all 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,” Dr Manyaya said.
He said the current state of the roads was worrisome and as a result President Mnangagwa in February last year launched the ERRP2 to urgently address the situation.
The ERRP2 is in line with the ethos of the National Development Strategy 1 whose key aspirations include infrastructural development as a key enabler in attaining Vision 2030.
“Given the foregoing, Zinara was mandated to mobilise the financing of the emergency road rehabilitation works and the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona has left no stone unturned in spearheading the fulfilment of this national cause,” he said.
The Zinara board chairman said during the inauguration ceremony of his board, they pledged to the nation that the rebranded Zinara would be guided by the values of transparency and disclosure.
The event was attended by Zinara chief executive officer Mr Nkosinathi Ncube, administration and human resources director Mr Gilfern Moyo and senior Zinara officials. Herald.