GOVERNMENT has announced plans to set up 32 additional tollgates across the country with 10 set to be operational in the next six months as it seeks to widen its revenue base.
The move was likely to attract the anger of already overtaxed Zimbabweans who are struggling to make ends meet due to a fast-declining economy.
Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu yesterday revealed that Cabinet had approved the programme, which is set to rake in $220 million per year up from $132 million raised last year.
Currently, the country has 24 tollgates.
Mpofu made the remarks when he met the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board to set the targets that have to be achieved by the administration during the course of 2015.
“Cabinet has approved the creation of 32 new tolling centres and Zinara should move fast to erect them because if you delay, we will be losing money. We need all our roads to be tolled,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu added that the money should be used to complete all unfinished priority projects.
“You (Zinara) have to complete Bulawayo-Mutare Highway, building of toll plazas, complete the Harare International Airport road dualisation and work with local authorities in patching potholes on the roads,” he added.
He implored Zinara management to be accountable and transparent in the manner they use revenue collected from tollgates.
“There is a public interest in what you do and therefore the public has a right to know where the levies are going. We owe it to the public to account as we use public funds hence we need to account,” Mpofu said.
Zinara acting chief executive officer Moses Juma told Mpofu that they had already started working on the modalities of creating the new tollgates.
“We are working on setting up 10 new tollgates in the first half of 2015 while the remainder will come along during the year,” Juma said.