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Thursday, July 18, 2024

City of Harare accused of letting ZINARA down

Story by Bruce Chahwanda

THE Harare City Council has once again come under fire, with residents challenging the local authority to account for the funds received from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) for road rehabilitation.

ZINARA disburses funds to every local authority including the Harare City Council on an annual basis.

The situation on the ground is however in sharp contrast to the expected standards with roads in a poor state.

Harare Residents Trust Director Mr Precious Shumba said, “We have notable roads that are dilapidated in communities and the council has done nothing. We have seen them trying to deal with potholes on some roads, but how can you do that using sand? Councils have failed the people, and we have had stories of ZINARA disbursing funds, but there is nothing to show for it.”

The central government has, however, taken the responsibility of rehabilitating some roads under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme.

“In most cities and towns, roads are being rehabilitated after the intervention of central government and they have done well considering that they have people at heart. Local authorities are sitting on millions of dollars, yet roads are yearning for attention,” said Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust, chairperson Mr Shalvar Chikomba.

The Harare City Council stands accused of failing to pay for traffic lights supplied to the local authority by a local company.

Furbank Trading recently wrote to the council’s director of works seeking a variation of the contract over non-payment of goods supplied in January which were by then valued at ZWL1,3 billion.

The case has opened a can of worms amid revelations that Harare City has not utilised more than ZWL2 billiondisbursed by ZINARA last year for road rehabilitation.

The local authority is also riddled with capacity challenges, which include failure to collect refuse and to provide water in some suburbs, amid a billing shocker that has seen some residents being issued with monthly bills amounting to US$1600.

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