The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has rubbished the City of Harare’s claims that the roads authority is not disbursing road rehabilitation funds to the municipality saying the local authority has only itself to blame as it was it hard for Zinara to disburse funds without proper full acquittal of the previous disbursements.
According to Zinara, the City of Harare has failed to acquit funds it has been allocated resulting in the local authority failing to access new disbursements.
Zinara argues that it has consistently disbursed money to Harare and other road authorities but the next disbursement would be subject to acquittal of the previously disbursed money by a road authority concerned.
In a statement, Zinara chief executive officer Mr Nkosinathi Ncube said the City of Harare was trying to shift blame on its reluctance to acquit previous allocations on time as all allocations should be done with accountability and transparency.
“According to the dictates of the Roads Act, a road authority can only access a new disbursement from Zinara after acquitting its previous disbursement. As for the City of Harare, it is important for the nation to know that in 2020, their total allocation was $86 million (US$1,5 million at the time) which could be translated using the prevailing exchange rate at the time and Zinara disbursed 100 percent of that amount and the City of Harare failed to acquit their last disbursement.
“As a result, they failed to access an early disbursement in 2021. The City of Harare’s allocation for 2021 was $1, 3 billion (US$15 million) which again can be translated to USD using the exchange rate at the time. However, the City of Harare only requested $154 million of this total allocation and failed to utilise in excess of $1,1 billion. In 2022, they are yet to acquit their fourth quarter disbursement of $566 million despite the fact that most road authorities have already acquitted their 2022 disbursements. This means that even if funds were to be disbursed today as per the Zinara schedule for 2023, Harare residents will still be deprived of service delivery until their road authority follows the dictates of the Road Act,” said Mr Ncube.
Zinara expressed its commitment to collaborate with road authorities to improve the road network in the country.