“Recently ZINARA allocated funds to several city, town and rural district councils authorities countrywide, but I know very well that these local authorities are diverting these funds. In some cases it is being used to pay for salaries for council workers. So people should stop blaming ZINARA on why the roads are not being upgraded, but should blame their local authorities who are not using these funds wisely,” Goche told Radio VOP.
Goche also admitted that “most Zimbabwe roads are still in very bad conditions and his Ministry is now looking for new methods for distributing of toll gate fees”.
Toll gates were introduced in August 2009 as a way of mobilising resources for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the country’s road network.
Small vehicle road users pay US$1 to cross the tollgates, while drivers of buses and lorries pay $5. Motorbike and cyclists do not pay anything.
According to official government estimates, the tollgates are raising $350 000 per week.
Most of the country’s roads are in a state of disrepair with many littered with dangerous potholes as result of years of neglect and increased volume of traffic beyond designed carrying capacity.
Several fatal road accidents have largely blamed on the poor state of roads. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife Susan Tsvangirai perished in a car accident along Harare- Masvingo highway in March 2009.
According to the ministry of transport, 30 percent of the country’s roads require rehabilitation, while the remainder needs periodic maintenance.