GOVERNMENT is mobilising funds for the repair and rehabilitation of the country’s roads abandoned for long by local authorities and have now become death traps for the travelling public.
Incessant rains that have been pounding the country for the past months have worsened the damage on the roads leading the Government to declare a State of Disaster to enable resource mobilisation.
Although the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) collects road toll fees, it then disburses the funds to local authorities, most of which have been found wanting as they divert the funds instead of maintaining roads.
Zinara’s spokesperson Mr Tendai Mugabe said the role of the authority is to collect and disburse road toll fees to relevant authorities.
“Our role is to fix road user fees and then collect those road user fees. After collection, we then disburse the funds to road authorities that are four, namely the Department of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Communication, the District Development Fund, and urban and rural councils,” he said.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the necessary legal process to give effect to the State of Disaster declaration was now being followed.
“Cabinet has resolved that all roads in the country be declared a State of Disaster. The declaration will facilitate the release of resources for the repair and rehabilitation of all roads that require such works,” she said.
“The restorative works will cover all urban areas as well as the rural and trunk roads. It will also pave the way for the standardisation of quality under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. The necessary legal procedures to give effect to the declaration is being worked on.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the bad roads rendered some places inaccessible, thereby cutting them off from amenities.
“Following a presentation on the state of the country’s roads by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works (July Moyo), Cabinet noted that due to extensive damage on roads, some areas have been rendered inaccessible.
“This state of affairs has adversely affected socio-economic activities such as distribution of food and inputs and the delivery of important services,” said the minister.
Most roads have been damaged, both in urban areas and those linking rural communities with urban amenities
Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa announced that this week Cabinet approved the National Disability Policy, paving way for the Bill in line with the constitution.
“The National Disability Policy seeks to address the marginalisation and discrimination of persons with disabilities, empower them to improve their own quality of life and enable them to contribute towards the national development agenda.
“It sets standards for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all facets of life, thereby serving as an overarching policy framework on disability across all sectors, including the public, private and development sectors.
“Approval of the policy will pave way for the drafting of the Bill in line with the country’s Constitution,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.