via Council, residents slam tollgate move – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 26, 2015
HARARE City Council and residents say proposals by government to erect tollgates in the city centre were ill-advised warning that ratepayers will be further impoverished by such a move.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Transport minister Obert Mpofu recently said government would put up more than 30 tollgates countrywide before the end of the year, claiming Harare and Bulawayo mayors were in support of the move.
Government was currently in the process of identifying sites to put tollgates along Harare’s Samora Machel Avenue and Airport Road.
However, Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday said concerns raised by council over the introduction of urban tollgates were yet to be addressed.
“The primary concerns have not yet been addressed for Harare, namely the recognition and award to Harare City of its fair share of the financial contribution made by the city’s motorists to Zinara coffers so far,” he said.
“The city fathers are yet to be convinced that residents should participate in any scheme whose yields are controlled by the very same Zinara. The trust level is very low.”
Manyenyeni said assurances were required if the city was to willingly participate in the urban tollgate programme.
“Otherwise, we would only participate without consent. An attempt to engage with councillors was pretty much snubbed because of the mistrust. As we hear, the current initiative is more driven by the parent ministry on behalf of the beneficiary entity which is Zinara. I have no figure of Zinara dues suffice to say Harare has been short-changed in no small way,” he said.
Combined Harare Residents’ Association chairman Simbarashe Moyo said: “Though government cannot be stopped to bring such ideas (but) in this case motorists are overburdened, they pay vehicle licence and tollgates out of Harare. It’s a huge burden on motorists and residents.
“It’s unfortunate these people continue to be actors in these horror movies. It is ill-timed for a country like Zimbabwe where government cannot even pay its own workers.”
He said the move would only leave residents impoverished while government ministers and officials get richer.
Mpofu has justified urban tollgates arguing that government would get more revenue to upgrade roads.