By Kuda Chideme, HARARE, July 28 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s road authority says it will seek government invention to reverse a decision by Harare City Council to reject a deal in which the local authority could access more than $200 million to finance rehabilitation of the capital’s decaying road network.
Council this year turned down Zimbabwe National Road Authority’s (ZINARA) proposal to take over management of the city’s 7,000 parking bays which have the potential to generate $49,000 per day as a precondition to unlock funding from an unknown local investor.
Harare reportedly needs $400 million to fix its ageing 4,000 kilometre road network.
ZINARA chair Albert Mugabe on Tuesday told a parliamentary committee on local governance that the previous minister of local government, Ignatius Chombo, had voiced support for the deal before he was reassigned.
“Minister Chombo’s response was that this is a good programme and the city of Harare should embrace it, not shun it. So we will seek an audience with the new minister to explain what we want to do and how far we had gone with the previous minister,” he said.
“The investor had promised that if the first $50 million went okay he would go on to invest an additional $200 million but we fear this will not come about because the City of Harare is reluctant to engage ZINARA.”
Asked why the investor would not deal directly with council, Mugabe said the investor was not prepared to have an investment housed directly in the City of Harare stressing that ZINARA would only administer the City’s parking revenue fund which would be used as a guarantee to the investor.
Mugabe said ZINARA had made the same proposal to several other local authorities, with Bulawayo agreeing to the deal in principle.