VICTORIA FALLS tourism players have successfully lobbied the Transport and Infrastructure Development ministry to stop erecting a tollgate along Kazungula Road to save the environment and avert duplication since the border post has another tollgate.
The authorities had planned to erect the tollgate at the 3km peg from the border.
However, Zimbabwe Council of Tourism representative and tour operator Barbra Murasiranwa lobbied Transport minister Obert Mpofu and his permanent secretary Munesu Munodawafa to consider moving the tollgate from the area during their tour of the Victoria Falls Airport at the weekend.
Murasiranwa yesterday confirmed that she lobbied for the relocation of the toll gate.
“Yes, I lobbied for the relocation of the tollgate,” she said.
“I appealed to the minister and his permanent secretary during their tour in Victoria Falls.
“I did that because of environmental issues since the area has no ablution facilities and also that it would be a duplication of service, as there is another tollgate at the border post.”
Murasiranwa said they had pleaded with Mpofu and Munodawafa to move the tollgate closer to the town, instead of the planned location.
“However, I can’t comment on what the minister and the permanent secretary said as they deliberated on the issue, but without a written confirmation.”
Mpofu and Munodawafa could not be reached for comment as the minister’s mobile phones went unanswered, while that of the permanent secretary was unreachable.
However, Southern Eye has it on good authority that Mpofu conceded to Murasiranwa’s lobby that the tollgate be moved.
“The minister and his team agreedto move the tollgate from there,” a source revealed.
“But you know government issues have to be communicated by the minister himself in a written notice. When the lobby was made, he agreed that the tollgate would be moved.”
Kazungula tollgate is one of the two new tollgates earmarked for Hwange district, which presently has one at Matetsi. Another tollgate will be constructed along the Dete–Binga Road between Cross Dete and Kamativi.
This comes after the government announced that it was going to construct 30 more tollgates countrywide to bring their total number to 52.
About $3 million is collected from tollgates every month, but the government argues that it is not enough to maintain and rehabilitate road infrastructure.