The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has urged Harare residents and motorists to resist the introduction of a new roads levy by the City Council.
Council revealed recently that it plans to introduce a road levy for residents as the local authority seeks to raise funds to rehabilitate its dilapidated road network.
This comes after the HCC Department of Works noted that the $530 million allocated for road projects in the 2021 council budget falls far short of the required $2,5 billion
Instead CHRA argues that for improvements to the road network in the country the government should just reverse ZINARA’s takeover of vehicle licensing from local authorities.
“ZINARA has totally failed to use vehicle licensing and toll gate fees in road maintenance and rehabilitation.”
“We assert that any form of introduction of road tax or levy in Harare is double taxation and must be resisted by the residents and motorists.
“The road levy is a move to cover up failures by ZINARA to be accountable, rehabilitate and maintain roads when it is collecting vehicle license and toll gate fees,” it said.
CHRA added that the current state of roads in Harare and Zimbabwe in general is a result of a centralized governance system that is not responsive to local needs since the ZINARA takeover of vehicle licensing in 2008.
“Residents and motorists should not pay the price and bear the burden of failing institutions such as ZINARA through introduction of roads levy via backdoor.”
“We expect Harare City Councilors to make rationalized decision and embark on broader consultation on this pertinent matter.”
The residents organisation has since called for ZINARA to publish the amount of vehicle license fees that it has collected in Harare for the year 2020 and the amounts it has disbursed to the local authority for the same period.
In the last fiscal year Harare was only able to rehabilitate 1,1km of roads, saying it had received very little funds from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).
This followed the allocation of $437 638 124 from ZINARA to Harare for road rehabilitation while the council raised $92 775 000.