The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) chief executive officer has responded to claims by Harare mayor Jacob Mafume that the local authority has been failing to repair roads since it (ZINARA) took over.

On Tuesday, Mafume threatened to take ZINARA to court so that it can be deconstructed and vehicle licensing be brought back to the local authorities.

He said the local authority was left with no choice than legal action.

However, in response, ZINARA issued a statement saying, among other things, in 2021 the City of Harare failed to fully utilise its allocation. Reads the statement:

“Whilst we don’t want to respond to rhetoric, we feel duty-bound to inform the nation with facts on certain inaccuracies.

“Firstly, we want to categorically state that, ZINARA has consistently disbursed funds for road rehabilitation and maintenance to all the Road Authorities, the City of Harare included.

“According to the dictates of the Roads Act, a Road Authority can only access a new disbursement from Zinara after acquitting its previous disbursement.”

ZINARA added:

“As for the City of Harare, it is important for the nation to know that in 2020, their total allocation was 86 million ZWL which could be translated using the prevailing exchange rate at the time and ZINARA disbursed 100 percent of that amount and the city of Harare failed to acquit their last disbursement.

“As a result, they failed to access an early disbursement in 2021. The City of Harare’s allocation for 2021 was 1, 3 billion which again can be translated to USD using the exchange rate at the time.

“However, the City of Harare only requested 154 million ZWL of this total allocation and failed to utilise in excess of 1,1 billion ZWL.

“In 2022, they are yet to acquit their fourth quarter disbursement of 566 million ZWL despite the fact that most Road Authorities have already acquitted their 2022 disbursements.

“This means that even if funds were to be disbursed today as per the ZINARA schedule for 2023, Harare residents will still be deprived of service delivery until their Road Authority follows the dictates of the Road Act.

“We continue to urge all Road Authorities to timeously acquit the disbursed funds in order to access their next allocation.

“It is a fact that our roads need to be rehabilitated and we need to work hand in glove to address this.

“Whilst some may argue the funds disbursed are not enough to meet all the needs, it will also be noble to be transparent and show the nation how the received funds were utilised.”