BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
VILLAGERS in the Dema area of Seke district have renewed their efforts to have the Dema tollgate relocated as it is economically affecting their lives.
The tollgate, located along Chitungwiza-Wedza Highway near Ziko Shopping Centre, is set to be moved to Kandava after disgruntled villagers protested over its location.
Seke legislator Munyaradzi Kashambe (Zanu PF) yesterday said the relocation of the tollgate had since been approved, adding that erection of a new tollgate would be done once funds have been released.
“The Dema tollgate will be relocated to Kandava area near the Econet booster. They were waiting for the new toll plaza design and the design is out and approved. We are now waiting for the disbursement of the funds from the Finance ministry, otherwise all is good to go.
“We hope we won’t be delayed this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, most of the funds are likely to be channelled towards road rehabilitation because roads have been declared a national disaster,” he
The Dema tollgate has been reported as one of the worst revenue collection points as motorists use feeder roads to evade paying toll fees.
Seke Rural Development Platform secretary-general Givemore Chipere said: “We handed over a petition last year to the then (Transport) minister Joel Biggie Matiza. Unfortunately, he passed on before responding to our issues. We are basically saying this tollgate should be moved further up. The tollgate is inconveniencing the villagers especially those who rely on farming and travel to markets in Chitungwiza.
“It is unfair for us to pay toll fees within our area almost everyday. Moreover, our schoolgoing children, especially at Besa Primary are at risk of being hit by vehicles that use a feeder road to evade paying toll fees,” he said.
The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration in 2018 admitted that the toll plaza was wrongly located.