Dickson Mangena, Business reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) will disburse the road emergency fund in three phases for the reconstruction of roads that were damaged in the just ended rainy season.
Speaking at the all road authority workshop held in Bulawayo last week, Zinara technical director Mr Moses Juma said the authority was going to disburse $101 million reconstruction facility in three phases. The road emergency fund is a $101 million facility by the Government to be disbursed by Zinara after roads were declared a state of emergency from damages incurred during the incessant rains and floods at the beginning of this year.
“The Government has advanced the money to Zinara and the fund will be disbursed in three phases. $40,8 million will be disbursed during Phase One, which is for covering of pot holes, grass cutting drains and other minor things. Phase Two of $27,7 million will be for preventative measures while Phase Three will be disbursed for the reconstruction of damaged structures,” Mr Juma said.
He said work has been going on since March in different parts of the country and that they have started collecting reports and evaluation of the progress. He said this was because they were using an output based payment model.
“Work started in March and right now we are collecting data so that we can start payments. Zinara has adopted a new model to disburse the road emergency fund using the output based model, where Zinara will only make a payment after seeing and evaluating the progress on the road constructed,” said Mr Juma.
He said the move was meant to curb scenarios where contractors would be paid after doing basically nothing.
“We have had scenarios that you find a contractor being paid after claiming hours of work but when you go to the site you don’t find anything worth those claimed hours. So as Zinara we have adopted a policy that will see to it that road authorities receive payment after there is satisfaction on the work done,” said Mr Juma.
He said the same output based model was going to be used in all the other Zinara disbursements.
“We are also going to use the same output models going forward. We have realised that contractors have always been paid even after doing a shoddy job. However, this has to change as jobs now have to be assessed and approved for payment. We will go to the site and we expect to find the said distance to be perfect in everything, if it’s gravel the grading and drainages,” said Mr Juma.
However, representatives of road authorities raised concerns on the adopted model citing that there were going to risk litigations in contracting without having the money.
“We are at risk of litigation if we enter into contracts without having the money in our possession. As we enter contracts without the money that means we don’t know when Zinara will be able to disburse the money. The contractors who would have done the job will be a danger for litigation to the local authorities. We appeal that if we adopt the model, we may also add Zinara as a guarantor in our contracts with contractors,” said an official who attended the workshop.