HARARE, August 15 (The Source) – Intertoll Zimbabwe has collected $56 million from the nine tollgates it operates on the rehabilitated Plumtree-Mutare highway on behalf of Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) over the past four years, an official has said.
Intertoll Zimbabwe is the local unit of Intertoll Africa, a subsidiary of South African engineering firm, Group Five. Group Five rehabilitated the 800 kilometre highway under a $206 million loan from the Development Bank of South Africa.
“Since we embarked on our contract, our toll collection income has been $56 million. Out of that, at least 10 percent were exemptions so what has been banked directly into Zinara’s account is about $51 million,” Intertoll Zimbabwe managing director Bridget Ledwaba on Monday told a parliamentary committee on transport and infrastructure.
Ledwaba refused to shed light on the terms of the working arrangement between Intertoll Zimbabwe and Zinara citing ongoing negotiations to review their current contract.
In June this year Zinara board chair Albert Mugabe told the same committee that the contract was on a cost-plus-model with Inter-toll getting 21 percent after costs.
He said the Ministry of Transport had demanded a renegotiation of the contract, while some Parliamentarians urged that the entire management of toll gates be given to Univern.
Univern Enterprises is a Zimbabwean-registered firm, which sometimes trades as Southern Region Trading Company (SRTC) and derives most of its business from the Ministry of Transport.
Univern/SRTC has partnered the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) in the supply of number plates introduced in March 2005. It also won a 2012 tender to supply 40 motorised graders worth $8 million to Zinara, which were deemed unsuitable for local roads. It was awarded a similar contract, this time without going to tender.
At the time, Zinara justified not going to tender, saying the second purchase “used the results of the first tender and Zinara merely had to rise on the first tender.”
Univern/SRTC was to strike an even more lucrative deal with Zinara, this time for vehicle licencing software valued at $54 million in 2013, also without going through tender.
When Zimbabwe rolled out toll gates in 2010, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority collected toll fees at all of the country’s 26 gates on behalf of ZINARA on a 10 percent commission.
Zinara acting chief executive, Moses Juma, who was present at the Intertoll said revenue from toll collections had increased significantly since process was computerized.
“Monthly revenue has increased significantly since we computerized we have seen an increase from $1, 2 million to about $2, 1 million per month,”Juma told the committee.
In June this year, Zinara said it had raised $180 million since the tolling system was introduced six years ago.