THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has bemoaned the non-payment of vehicle licence by car owners, particularly in urban areas, saying this had a detrimental effect on the road fund.
Speaking on the sidelines of the just-ended Africa Roads Maintenance Fund Association meeting in Victoria Falls, Zinara board chair Albert Mugabe said about 168 000 vehicles were unlicensed.
“These are vehicles that have been licensed before and have not renewed their licences,” he said.
“Most people in urban constituencies avoid vehicle licensing and tollgates, yet they are the ones who complain the most about potholes.”
Mugabe said it was difficult to account for motorists with unlicensed vehicles in the past because the authority had only two enforcement vehicles to cover the whole country.
He said they had acquired 10 more cars, which will be available next month. At the meeting, Mugabe urged road authorities not to depend on funding from Treasury, but to make use of available local resources to rehabilitate and maintain roads.
“Illegal sanctions saw donor funding for road maintenance drying up overnight and the Treasury cannot accommodate road maintenance funds as they have to deal with other issues like education and health,” he said.
“This taught us that the dependency syndrome is something we should do away with and enact strategies to maintain, rehabilitate and construct roads on our own as road maintenance authorities.
“In Zimbabwe, vehicle licence fees have done well to get our roads working for our people, but there is need to look at more effective ways of collecting more revenue for the benefit of road funds without necessarily making it too expensive for motorists.”
Mugabe said Zinara was presently generating $50 million from tollgates annually, but needs $5 billion to maintain and rehabilitate roads.