By Munesu Nyakudya
Civic organisations have called for the return of vehicle licencing duties to the local authorities as they accuse the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) of abusing the facility.
Zinara has been red-flagged in a recent report in which it was revealed that its management has been abusing funds over the past years.
According to the report, “board members were paid fees and allowances in respect of any activity done in the name of Zinara. This included workshops, conferences and other functions.
“Apart from huge board fees, board members were the recipients of a number of unauthorised goods and payments which included the following:
“Christmas hampers worth US$55 700 were bought from Ok Mart on 11 December 2018 from a CBZ account.
“Each board member received hampers values at US$9 600. The Christmas hampers were accounted for in the records of Zinara as expenditure for offices supplies.
“On August 22 2014, a payment of US$23 518 was made to Solution Centre for purchase of Ipads for 12 board members.”
Other gross abuses of funds include payment of allowances of over US$50 000 for board members and US$44 000 for members seconded to the Infralink.
Councils have been calling for the return of vehicle licencing duties arguing that it will enable them to rehabilitate roads which are in a deplorable state across many of them.
The Combined Harare Residents Association(CHRA) has also alleged that Zinara is failing to disburse licensing fees towards road rehabilitation.
Rueben Akili, the CHRA programmes manager said: “Harare has a road network of 4 000 kilometres and due to lack of financing, since Zinara took over vehicle licensing in 2008, the other 50% of the roads are unnavigable,” Akili said.
“Local authorities have no funds to rehabilitate them because Zinara is retaining the greater amount of funds meant for their rehabilitation.
“We cannot monitor how Zinara funds are used due to hierarchal barriers.”