Helen Kadirire 13 April 2017
HARARE – Zinara still owes Harare City Council (HCC)road maintenance money
from 2015, HCC has revealed.
Environmental management committee minutes, reveal councillors bitterly
complained that Zinara had promised them funds for road maintenance but
did not deliver.
“Harare City Council expected no less than $15 million for the 2017
allocation, considering the state of the roads, this was the minimum
council would expect from Zinara,” the minutes read.
“The committee noted that the previous year 2016, Zinara had disbursed
$1,7 million and council was owed road and maintenance grants by Zinara
dating back to 2015 which the latter should and had promised to pay.”
The environmental committee argued that Harare had not had any meaningful
routine maintenance in the last 15 years and the current heavy rains had
left the roads in a bad state.
“The funds were inadequate for the repair of maintenance of the 7 000
kilometre of roads, drains, public lighting, traffic lights and other
street furniture,” the Herbert Gomba-led committee said.
HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said the City could not ascertain how
much was owed as Zinara dictates their disbursements to the local
“We do not have any say in how much we receive because Zinara only tells
us what they will give. However, the city needs $800 million to fix the
road network,” Chideme said.
During the rainy season, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere
declared Harare’s roads a state of disaster due to their extensive damage.
Kasukuwere said council had failed to fix the roads as 60 percent of the 7
000km network was impassable due to potholes.
To remedy the situation, HCC was set to introduce concrete roads, with
acting town clerk Josephine Ncube saying that they last longer and are
cheaper to maintain than bitumen roads.
Ncube said the pilot would be done along Arcturus road and once
successful, will be spread out to the rest of the city.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said residents should not blame the city
for the lack of road maintenance.
“Residents should focus their complaints on potholes and poor roads to
Zinara and not HCC. We should be getting about $40 million per year from
Zinara for road maintenance but they are only remitting $1 million, which
is not enough for standard repairs,” he said.