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Friday, May 24, 2024

Harare City backtracks on unfair road fund disbursements claims

Story by Davison Vandira

HARARE City Council officials have been exposed for their ignorance on key laws and policies governing their operations.

This comes after Harare Mayor, Jacob Mafume admitted that he was not aware of the statutory requirements governing disbursements of the road fund to all the country’s 92 local authorities.

The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) led by its Board Chairperson, Dr George Manyaya this Monday met Harare City Council officials to apprise them on the governance of the road fund as well as disbursements thereof.

The current legal framework governing the disbursement of money collected by ZINARA clearly states that the funds are disbursed to all the 92 local authorities in the country using a binding formula agreed by all these councils and not through the vehicle population formula as claimed by some quarters.

The candid exchange saw the Mayor of Harare, Jacob Mafume making a sensational admission that he was not conversant with the key policy governing local authorities.

Mafume said, ‘‘I wish to register my satisfaction to this new ZINARA Board which came out clean on how it is administering the road fund. As such, we have managed to identify where the challenge is regarding the disbursements, hence we will be meeting our counterparts within the 92 local authorities to discuss our issue with regards to the change in formula of issuing these disbursements.’’

The local authority has for a long period failed to maintain the roads within its jurisdiction despite timely disbursements by ZINARA.

Instead, the council has time and again chosen to play to the gallery by apportioning blame to government agency, which collects road levies and disburses it to all local authorities countrywide.

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