THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has taken the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) to task to clarify how it came up with a formula of disbursing road maintenance funds, as the amount keeps changing every year.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
According to the BCC environmental management and engineering services committee report, the local authority was not amused by the way Zinara was conducting its services.
“The chamber secretary (Sikhangele Zhou) explained that Zinara gazetted every year the amount to be disbursed to each local authority. Last year $6 million was gazetted for Bulawayo City Council. The previous year it was $1 million and this year $6.5 million but so far they had disbursed less than half a million. We have taken Zinara to task to clarity on how they come up with a formula,” read part of the report.
“The Ministry of Local Government had been asked to support the request made to Zinara. There is a lot of contention on how Zinara funds local authorities. The lack of stability at Zinara has affected the disbursement of funds.”
Zinara has a mandate to disburse road maintenance funds to all local authorities across the country, but often fails.
In the meeting, councillor Felix Mhaka acknowledged that Zinara gazetted what was to be disbursed to council, but never advertised what it had actually disbursed for the year. Gazetting what was disbursed would help clarify to the public that there were no misuse of funds, he said.
Councillor Donaldson Mabuto felt it was necessary to publish in the press the actual amount given to council.
The report noted that disbursed funds to date amounted to $473 000, even though the council was supposed to get $6,5 million for the year.
“The department awaits disbursement of these funds as pledged by Zinara. Most projects continue to grind to a halt as resources have run out,” it read.
“Late payments have also presented challenges with a problem of acquiring materials for the continuation of their works.”
Early this year, then Transport minister Joram Gumbo applauded Bulawayo for effectively utilising the (Zinara) allocation last year under the emergency road rehabilitation programme (ERRP) funds.
Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and North provinces collectively received $20,1 million from Zinara in 2017.
Bulawayo received $6,1 million, Matabeleland South $7,3 million and Matabeleland North got $6,7 million.