Gweru City Council has failed to resume installation of solar-powered traffic lights despite receiving $117 000 from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) for the project, it has emerged.
By Stephen Chadenga
The lights project stalled after it was launched in 2013 as council owed the contractor $46 000.
Council has only managed to install solar-powered traffic lights at four out of the proposed 16 intersections in the city.
Early last month, Gweru director of engineering services, Praymore Mhlanga said Zinara had promised to settle the outstanding balance so that the project could be completed.
“We received $117 000 from Zinara for this quarter and part of that money would be used in resuming the solar traffic project,” Mhlanga said then.
“The remainder of that money would be used in rehabilitation of roads in the city since most of our commuter roads are in bad shape.”
The project, which is expected to cost $500 000, was expected to reduce accidents caused by malfunctioning traffic lights due to power cuts.
But investigations by this paper revealed that despite the proclamations, the project was yet to resume as the cash strapped local authority struggles to fund its operations.
Mayor, Hamutendi Kombayi said there was need for an audited report on how the Zinara funds were utilised.
He said it was proper that part of the funds be used for rehabilitating potholed roads.
Last year’s council report on the status of water supply and road maintenance in the Midlands capital revealed that the municipality was only able to maintain 35 % of the surfaced road network because of lack of capital.