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Zinara shells ZiG93,9 million to road authorities

by Staff reporter
20 May 2024 at 07:45hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has disbursed ZiG 93.9 million to road authorities for critical road infrastructure maintenance and development projects across the country.

As part of its strategic agenda's capacitation pillar, Zinara has also provided 38 percent of fuel to local authorities, allowing them to utilize this resource throughout the year.

Good roads are crucial economic enablers, ensuring transport and logistics efficiencies, which are key cost drivers for most businesses. Road infrastructure projects are central to the Government's development agenda due to their impact on job creation and downstream effects across value chains.

To enhance transparency and accountability, Zinara plans to conduct a "Road Condition Survey" later this year. This survey will audit road conditions in Zimbabwe, providing essential information for planning and implementation as the Government intensifies its road rehabilitation program.

Additionally, Zinara has been engaging and equipping road authorities with the skills needed to better manage their projects.

In a statement, Zinara announced that ZiG 93.9 million was disbursed during the first quarter, ending March 31, as part of the 2024 strategic agenda operationalized in December 2023.

"A total of ZWL 235 billion (ZiG 93,952,017.31) was disbursed in the first quarter of 2024, primarily for routine road maintenance projects," the statement read.

"This financing is provided to road authorities in advance, based on the acquittal of previously issued routine maintenance funds."

According to the disbursement schedule, the Department of Roads received ZWL 87.6 billion from a total allocation of ZWL 151.6 billion. The District Development Fund (DDF), now the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (Rida), was allocated ZWL 103.6 billion and received ZWL 3.5 billion in the first quarter.

Among local authorities, Harare received ZW$8.8 billion from an annual allocation of ZW$40 billion, while Bulawayo received ZW$2.8 billion from ZW$12.1 billion allocated for the year. Matabeleland North received ZW$3.8 billion from an initial ZW$17.5 billion, and Matabeleland South got ZW$2.2 billion from an annual allocation of ZW$16.9 billion.

While road authorities have often stated that the funds are insufficient, Zinara emphasizes the importance of quality assurance sign-offs for completed projects, which are necessary for further disbursements. The remaining funds are used to settle payments for periodic projects completed at the end of 2023.

"These funds are processed against the submission of Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs). In some cases, no disbursements are recorded in the first quarter as road authorities began the year using funds issued in the last quarter of 2023," the agency stated.

"In line with our strategic agenda, Zinara secured two million liters of fuel to support road authorities with their projects."

The fuel support facility aims to address the procurement challenges faced by road authorities, who must source fuel in foreign currency.

"This will enhance the speed and quality of their projects and preserve the value of the resources disbursed to road authorities," Zinara said.

"In the first quarter, 38 percent of this fuel was issued, and road authorities will continue to draw on this resource throughout the year. Our monitoring and evaluation system for monetary disbursements also applies to fuel distribution."

Zinara transitioned from ZWL to ZiG at the end of the quarter, expressing confidence that this will stabilize disbursements and enable road authorities to fully implement their projects.

The strategic agenda framework is based on four pillars: integrity, capacitation, engagement, and automation (ICEA).

"Our priorities for the year are organized under these pillars, and we are confident that fulfilling these commitments will ensure the achievement of our mandate," Zinara stated.

The national roads agency launched several major road infrastructure programs this year, including work on the Harare-Chirundu highway and rehabilitation of roads leading to the Parliament of Zimbabwe in preparation for the SADC Heads of State Summit.

Other initiated projects include the Mashava-Mandamabwe Road project and the relocation of the Dema tollgate.

"Several projects have been completed and opened to traffic, such as the first stretch of Domboshava road and the road in the Heroes' Acre area," Zinara said.

Zinara also conducted three regional workshops, covering all provinces, to train road authorities on procurement management, standard acquittals, program preparation, contract management, audit issues, standard costing, routine maintenance, and the use of CIS as a road asset management tool.

"Field visits were included to demonstrate road maintenance works," the agency added.

Zinara pledged to continue updating stakeholders on disbursements and projects undertaken, exploring value-preserving disbursement models to improve road maintenance programs' effectiveness.

"Work is underway to enhance our revenue collection system, starting with the relocation and upgrade of tolling infrastructure. We are also supporting the Department of Roads with resuscitating road maintenance units across the country to provide first-line services, accelerating road repair and maintaining good quality roads," Zinara said.

Zinara appealed for stakeholder partnership in road infrastructure maintenance through improved compliance with motor vehicle fee payments.

"If everyone does their part, the current backlog of road works will be cleared in the medium term, and our country will boast a great transport system," Zinara concluded.

Source - the chronicle