Mutare needs $500m for road rehab

Source: Mutare needs $500m for road rehab | The Herald January 31, 2020

Mutare needs $500m for road rehab

Takunda Maodza Mutare Bureau

MUTARE City Council says it requires more than $500 million to rehabilitate its road network, which is in a bad state owing to years of neglect.

But in its budget, council set aside only $12 million for road rehabilitation, meaning the state of the roads will largely remain the same this year if it fails to get additional funding from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).

Council has asked Zinara to release what it owes the city in time to enable it to refurbish the roads.

Zinara collects the licence fees for all vehicles and is then supposed to hand these over to the appropriate local authorities.

“We need more than $500 million to rehabilitate out entire road network, which is more than 540km. We have a backlog in terms of road maintenance due to inadequate funding,” city spokesperson Mr Spren Mutiwi, told The Herald yesterday.

He said council was expecting a much bigger chunk of funding from Zinara. “In terms of our 2020 budget we anticipate to spend about $12 million on road maintenance. We anticipated getting an additional $7 million from Zinara.

“Drop in the ocean”

“Most of our roads are in bad state and require urgent attention. We had expected a bigger chunk of funding to come from Zinara but like any other local authority we are not getting enough and this is compromising our road maintenance work,” added Mr Mutiwi.

He said council only received about $2 million from Zinara for road maintenance last year, which was a drop in the ocean considering the magnitude of work at hand.

Most roads in the city are in a sorry state both in the central business district (CBD) and high-density suburbs.

The onset of rains has left some roads in high-density areas like Dangamvura, Chikanga and Hobhouse untrafficable.

Government is on record as saying it had managed to plug financial leakages at Zinara and hoped the parastatal will be able to raise at least $3 billion annually.

This is expected to result in more funds being released towards road maintenance across the country, according to Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza.