HARARE – Government will not hand over the collection of vehicle licence fees back to local authorities but will instead strengthen management systems at the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) to curtail leakages, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Local authorities, who previously collected the vehicle licence fees, have often accused Zinara of unfair allocation and misusing funds collected from motorists.
After collecting the fees, Zinara disburses the money to local authorities for road rehabilitation and maintenance projects, but councils have often argued that the money disbursed to them was inadequate.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joel Matiza said a new Zinara board, put in place in January this year, was working on stamping out the corrupt handling of funds at the cash rich parastatal.
The new board was appointed following the dissolution of the Wilfred Ramwi-led board last year, which was accused of covering up corruption at Zinara.
This has prompted fresh calls for Zinara to be stopped from collecting vehicle licence fees.
But, Matiza said: “Reverting back is not the solution, the solution is to make sure that we address the issue of management (at Zinara).”
“The issue is of management. Once management is proper and systems are in place bad things will not happen.”
Matiza, who was appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts, said the new board was seized with ensuring accountability in the use of funds.
“We are looking at it with a view of making sure that leakages are not there, and that we are not prejudiced as Zinara,” he said.
“If you give us time so that our systems get some gestation you will see some results.”
Zinara took over the collection of vehicle licence fees in 2010 after noting that councils were not utilising the funds on road development programmes.
A vehicle licence fee is a fee charged on a certain class of vehicle as described by the Vehicle Registration and Licencing Act. – New Ziana