Mooted tollgate fee hike sparks outrage

via Mooted tollgate fee hike sparks outrage – DailyNews Live 30 June 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Plans by government to increase tollgate fees is facing stiff resistance from the public.

The move also faces legal challenge amid demands for the ministry of Transport and Communication to reveal the amount of money that has been collected so far on the tolls, and how it has been used.

Government has indicated that it could increase toll gate fees by 100 percent.

Smaller vehicles paying $1 could be forced to fork out $2.

Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights (ZLHR) says it plans to drag the ministry of Transport to court if it does not avail the revenue that has been collected on the roads since the inception of toll gates.

In a letter dated June 24 to the ministry of Transport, the public interest unit of ZLHR wants government to furnish it with information on whether it consulted the public when it decided to increase the toll fees.

“In terms of section 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with section 5 and 6 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Chapter 10:27), we request the following information from you as a public body:

– The total collections from inception of toll gate system to date.

– A breakdown of the collections mentioned above, per tollgate.

– A detailed breakdown of the allocation and use of funds collected from the commencement of the tollgate system to date.

– Names of entities involved in the construction of the tollgates, and the amounts due and payable to them.

– Names of entities contracted for purposes of rehabilitating the road network, and the amounts due and payable to them.”

The demands from ZLHR come at a time when the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is under pressure to explain use of toll fees.

The lawyers insist that government should provide the “financial statements of the Zinara from the commencement of the tollgate system to date.”

Although government introduced tollgates in 2009 to increase revenue collection and also maintain infrastructure, the country’s roads remain in a sorry state.

Government says it wants to hike the toll fees to improve the state of roads.

ZLHR said failure to provide the required information could result in litigation, as the new Constitution “requires open, transparent and responsive governance and enshrines the right of citizens to access information and participation in governance.”

“We trust you will furnish us with the aforementioned information timeously and in any event within 30 days as mandated by section 6 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, so as to ensure that this matter will not have to result in unnecessary litigation,” ZLHR’s letter says.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 11
  • comment-avatar
    gwabu 7 years ago

    we applaud this move. the fact of the matter is in addition to the tollgates there are several charges like the vehicle licenses and fuel levy. vehicle users are paying on every litre of fuel a levy. all that not known where all that money is going. surely there is need to disclose where all those collections are going.

    furthermore tollgates fees of $1 are already exorbitant.

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    Saddened 7 years ago

    Well done! Take a leaf out of the South Africans who have largely refused to pay e-tolls. It’s about time we held our government to account. They have got away with abusing us for too long!

  • comment-avatar
    Saddened 7 years ago

    Well done! Take a leaf out of the South African’s book who have largely refused to pay e-tolls. It’s about time we held our government to account. They have got away with abusing us for too long!

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      Twinn 7 years ago

      It’s not just the tollgates that government should be held to account. It’s every single department. Government’s lack of accoutability is the reason why they are so arrogant. They are meant to be servants for the people (EVERY ZIMBABWEAN BLACK or WHITE) and not masters. Absolute Power corrupts the feable mind!

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    chimusoro 7 years ago

    I disagree with those who say we don’t know where the money is going.

  • comment-avatar

    Yeah man, we know where the money is going!

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    Tsuro 7 years ago

    This should also be extended to NSSA.

    Do they even produce and annual report with audited accounts?

    Are we getting a fair return on our contributions?

    Our culture which has made us poor seems to say “you must not know or ask me, I am the king”

    We pay to/for everything, but we are not allowed to know how our monies and resources are used, be it ZBC, Diamonds etc

    Guys No….this cannot go on we now need to stand up and be counted….remember its not the rural folk who pay for this

  • comment-avatar

    mawages mawedzera here? Aiwawo zvimwe nwaraiwo

  • comment-avatar
    Expat 7 years ago

    Well Done ZLHR be assured when it comes to this type of disclosures you will not go far to find support from the people. Perhaps another fee that seriously needs to be made public is TV and listeners licences collected by ZBC who certainly does not provide service to a majority of user’s, just to have a TV whether it is for gaming or to watch DVD’s requires a licence?????

  • comment-avatar

    Zimbabwe don`t cry now, you voted for this so shut up and take it like man.

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    munzwa 7 years ago

    Grow up Lloyd and do something constructive, fight for what you believe in..@ Expat, there is a challenge on going regards the ZBC licences, dont pay till the high court has heard the case and no doubt there has been an appeal…