Tollgate fees for ‘NGOs’ in Zim

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DIPLOMATIC missions and international organisations accredited to Zimbabwe are now required to pay tollgate fees in a move aimed at buffering the country’s revenue.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

The tollgates were introduced in 2009 when Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) set up 22 rudimentary structures to facilitate the collection of money along the highways.

The charges were pegged at $1 per toll point for light motor vehicles and $2 for minibuses.

Large buses pay $3 while heavy vehicles and haulage trucks part with $5.

Exemptions were extended to diplomatic mission vehicles carrying diplomats, vehicles displaying government number plates, those belonging to the State, the fire brigade and ambulance service and those belonging to Zimra.

However, the Foreign Affairs ministry has reportedly withdrawn the exemptions and all diplomatic missions and international organisations have since been notified.

“The Foreign Affairs ministry presents its compliments to all diplomatic missions and international organisations accredited to Zimbabwe and in response to numerous inquiries from the latter has the honour to advise as follows:

“Tollgate fees are regarded as road user fees in line with provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations article 34 (e) which states that ‘a diplomatic agent shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal, except for charges levies for specific services rendered’.

“In this regard, all diplomatic missions and international organisations are excepted to pay tollgate fees in Zimbabwe,” part of the letter seen by Southern Eye reads.

The government introduced toll fees as part of measures to raise funds to repair the country’s poor road infrastructure.

It has since installed toll plazas in some areas which are highly sophisticated tollgates that are computerised to minimise pilferage.

About $78 million has been generated form tollgates since their introduction in 2009.