The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
LOCAL authorities around the country have not been utilising monies allocated by the The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) through the Road Rehabilitation Programme, with some of the funds now set to be recalled before they can be used for their intended purpose.
Earlier this year, government declared the country’s roads a state of disaster, allowing it to start mobilising funds for the repair and rehabilitation of the country’s roads which had now become death traps for the travelling public.
Responding to inquiries from legislators from legislators in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said while funds had been availed to local authorities in the country, some had not utilised them.
“It is quite disheartening that there are some local authorities that have been advanced funds for the construction of roads under the Road Rehabilitation Programme by ZINARA and they have not used that money. We are actually recalling that money. Also, the Minister of Transport is actually mandated through legislation under the Roads Act 18, in particular section 5 of that Act where it talks about local authorities, rural district councils or any road authority that neglects its mandate. Therefore, the Minister in particular will take over the management of that road,” he said.
Minister Mhona said ZINARA’s purview was not road rehabilitation but fund distribution to the country’s four road authorities which are the Department of Roads, Rural District Councils, local authorities and District Development Fund.
“So, for us to say ZINARA is not disbursing, I do not think it is true Mr. Speaker. If you have checked in the previous month, ZINARA had to flight all the disbursements to the local authorities showing that these are the funds that went directly to the local authorities. In the near future again Mr. Speaker, we are going to flight a detailed report of the funds that have gone to the local authorities and therefore, we call for the accountability element from the local authorities, rural district councils, DDF and the Department of Roads to account for those funds to see where those funds have been channelled to. I do agree that as a fund, ZINARA is supposed to disburse and this is basically what ZINARA is doing Mr. Speaker Sir,” he said.