John Kachembere 28 June 2017
HARARE – Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said he is against the
establishment of a Road Accident Fund (RAF), aimed at assisting road
accident victims, as it will negatively affect insurance firms’ revenues
and burden taxpayers.
This comes as Transport minister Joram Gumbo has been pushing for the
setting up of a RAF – in line with the United Nations Decade of Road
Safety action plan – and his ministry has been holding various
consultative meetings across the country.
Gumbo’s initiative was borne out of the realisation that third party
insurance, one avenue to compensate road accident victims, was not playing
its part due to the proliferation of fake insurance policies.
Chinamasa, however, said there was need for insurance firms to uphold the
greatest level of professionalism and be guided by principles of good
governance in the management of insurance funds.
“There’s a perception that insurance companies don’t want to accept
liability and we need to understand and engage those who are advocating
for the establishment of the Road Accident Fund and close that perception
gap,” he said.
“I have been advised that you run pools at the Insurance Council of
Zimbabwe to cater for hazardous risks that your individual members are not
prepared to underwrite. We want to see all those initiatives benefiting
the insuring public through prompt payment of claims and all such
liabilities being met to the satisfaction of the policy holders,”
Chinamasa told insurance players in Harare on Monday.
According to official statistics, Zimbabwe experiences about 1 700
fatalities annually with over 30 000 people getting injured in road
In most cases, the government ends up compensating the bereaved cases due
to lack of proper insurance cover and insurance firms’ refusal to pay
“It is really such attitudes that can give rise to some of the initiatives
that I think are not in the right direction like the establishment of
insurance road fund. That basically is reflecting that all is not well in
the insurance sector and we need to put our house together, our act
together, so that we are seen to honour our obligations,” Chinamasa said.
Zimbabwe is the only country in the Southern African Development Community
region without a Road Accident Fund to compensate road traffic accident
Market experts also agree with Chinamasa asserting that not only will the
RAF add extra burden on the taxpayers, but also that the funds will not
reach the intended persons as evidenced by the failure of the Road Fund to
refurbish the country’s roads.