Govt allocates $600m for Byo roads

The Zimbabwe National Road Authority (ZINARA) will disburse over ZWL$600 million to finance the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme2 (ERRP2) in Bulawayo.

According to the latest council report, Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube reported that ZINARA had disbursed ZWL625 549 822.14 to finance the road rehabilitation programme.

Eng Dube said part of the funds had been used to buy material and council staff had commenced the rehabilitation works around the city.

“On July 15, 2021, Eng Dube reported that under ERRP2 program, ZINARA had disbursed the ZWL$19 565 589.54 as an advance payment for phase one and two work combined. The final approved total allocation for the ERRP2 was ZWL$625 549 822.14,” the report read.

“The advance funds had been used in the procurement of materials to produce cold mix, hot mix, road line paint and to cover batching fees for pothole patching and overlay works using Council’s in-house teams. The acquittal for the disbursed ZWL$19 million has been sent to Zinara and we awaited further disbursement of funds to continue the works.”

The minutes further stated that the government had withdrawn the Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (IGFTs) devolution funds meant for road works in lieu of ERRP2.

“The Old Esigodini road surfacing works for roads that were constructed to gravel standard were thus deferred to the 2022 financial year,” read the report.

“The Old Esigodini road (as 12thAvenue extension, 7km stretch) from Leeside shopping centre to City boundary was part of the roads that were approved for takeover by the Ministry of Transport for rehabilitation.”

During the latest Full Council Meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, Ward 4 Cllr Silas Chigora complained about the selection process for the roads to be repaired citing that the roads that were being prioritised were less busy.

“We have noticed that there are rehabilitation works underway along Josiah Tongogara Street. That road Your Worship is a small road. There are other busier roads which are used by residents on a daily basis. For example, the Old Esigodini road from Leeside to Maningdale to Waterford,” said Cllr Chigora.

“Residents are not amused that the council is starting by smaller roads. Is the council even consulted in the priority road selection process? We know our roads better so we can make informed decisions on which roads to work on first.”

Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube defended the rehabilitation of Josiah Tongogara Street arguing that all roads in the city need urgent attention.

“There is no problem with that road being rehabilitated. 15th Avenue down to 10th Avenue along that road, houses residential flats so residents who stay there will benefit,” Cllr Ncube said.

“We need to remember that when we sit for council meetings we debate on issues that benefit Bulawayo as a city not necessarily individual wards. Masiyephambili Drive is being attended to vigorously. Let’s not sabotage the rehabilitation of other roads to prioritise others, instead let us push for all roads to be fixed.”

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