HARARE, February 13 (The Source) – The Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) has budgeted $140,7 million for repairing and maintaining roads in the country this year, a Parliament portfolio committee heard on Tuesday.
Urban councils will receive $44 million, Department of Roads $40 million, Rural District Councils $31,7 million and District Development Fund $25 million.
Councils associations told the Parliamentary Portfolio on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that Zinara delay disbursing funds which are also not adequate.
“Disbursement being made by ZINARA are not adequate for the local authorities (to service the roads). The bulk of the money disbursed to local authorities; 60 percent normally goes to equipment hire. So we are calling for a special allocation of resources to ensure that (Zinara) can equip themselves through some facility either being a duty free concession or allocation of foreign currency,” said Tsungai Makore, vice president of Urban Council Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ).
The associations also said that Zinara should provide funding for local authorities to purchasing equipment and not buy the machinery themselves after the ‘snow graders’ scandal.
In 2012, Zinara awarded Univern a tender to supply 40 motorised graders worth $8 million to the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara). While the rural district councils who got the equipment protested that they were ‘snow graders’ not fit for purpose, Zinara went and procured a further 40 graders through the same firm for another $8 million, this time without going to tender.
The deal was among several controversial tenders awarded to the firm.
“Those ‘snow graders’ are working but they are giving us problems, big problems,” Patrick Chidakwa, vice president of Association of Rural District Council (ARDC) told lawmakers.
So far Zinara has not disbursed funds to the local authorities for the current year, according to the Zimbabwe Local Government Association (ZILGA) secretary general Lucy Furamera.