THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) will this year disburse $16 billion to road authorities to facilitate the ongoing countrywide road rehabilitation programme. This figure is an increase from the $12 billion allocated last year which enabled massive road works that were undertaken under the auspices of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP2).
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Zinara’s public relations and marketing manager Tendai Mugabe said the road authority would start disbursing the funds in March, particularly to those with approved work plans.
“This year we are targeting to disburse $16 billion to all the road authorities. So what we are going to do is that we are going to start disbursing funds in early March because right now as you can see we are in the rainy season and it is difficult to undertake road projects at this time.
“So as soon as the rains subside around March we will start disbursing,” he said.
Mr Mugabe said Zinara was in the process of upgrading tollgates to effectively deal with motorists who evade paying the toll fees. The road authority was also installing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at all its tollgates.
“With regards to the issue of tailgating (evading payment at tollgates) it speaks to the issue of infrastructure development. We are upgrading our tollgates to ensure that all the tollgates have got functional booms.
“Over and above that, we are also installing CCTV cameras at the tollgates so all the motorists who are going to do tailgating should expect a follow up by way of tickets from the law enforcement agency and we are also going to flag those cars when they come for licensing,” said Mugabe.
Last week, Zinara’s board chairman Dr George Manyaya said the road authority was undertaking a number of initiatives, including the upgrading of tollgates to toll plazas with more lanes to help in dealing with congestion at the tollgates.
“This should be complemented by modern and cutting-edge technology to ensure seamless mobility solutions at our tollgates. We are also looking at expanding our horizons and benchmarking our operations with other road fund managers internationally so that we deliver top-notch service to our customers,” Dr Manyaya said.
Under the ERRP2, the Government has now said it is moving to repair and rehabilitate roads in high density suburbs which have been neglected for years by urban councils.
Since last year, the focus of the ERRP2 has been on major roads. This saw major works being done on highways such as Seke road, Robert Mugabe road, Chiremba road and Masotsha Ndlovu Way, among others.