The Deputy Minister of Transport Michael Madanha told Parliament on Wednesday that Members of Parliament should not ask members of the constituencies to contribute any money for the repair of roads in their areas as money meant for this is paid to their councils by the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINRA).
“We have heard that in some constituencies or areas members of the public are asked to make a contribution of $2 for buying diesel used by the machinery meant for maintaining the roads,” he said in response to a question from Glen Norah legislator Webster Maondera who had asked whether it was government policy for legislators to ask members of their constituencies to contribute the money.
“I would advise you to report this to the police because there could be some fraudsters who are getting money from people. We know councils are being given money by ZINARA and the money given is supposed to be used for fueling the machinery for the repair of these roads. Whosoever is doing that might be a fraudster,” Madanha said.
The Deputy Minister said ZINARA was responsible for the maintenance of roads throughout the country and was getting money through toll fees. He therefore urged Members of Parliament to encourage people to pay toll fees and not avoid toll gates.
*MRS MASHONGANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me the chance to ask my question. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural development. May you please explain the Government policy regarding feeder roads, dirt roads in rural areas, especially in remote areas? We are now going into the rainy season and some of them will be so bad that during that season, school children cannot cross the roads. Ambulances cannot travel on these roads. We also notice that these roads were under the care of the District Development Fund (DDF) – as of now, what is the prevailing condition? Who is responsible for maintaining these roads?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MR. MADANHA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will respond to this question which has been directed to me. I would like this House to be aware of the fact that our roads fall under two categories. The (major) and classified roads fall under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural development. I can give an example of the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare road. We also have these small and unclassified feeder roads which into these major roads. These roads fall under the Rural Districts Councils. The hon. member is talking about roads that are under the RDCs.
May I inform this House that the Rural District Councils have an allocation of funds which are given to them from ZINARA aimed at maintaining these rural roads. I am sure that each district is now in a financial position to maintain its roads. We know our country has been going through a lean economic financial spell but Government is now harvesting money from the toll gates and this can be used for the maintenance of roads.
May I plead with you hon. Members of Parliament that when you go to your constituencies please hold meetings with your people and advise them not to avoid toll gates, but to pay up so that we have enough funds to repair our roads.
*MR. MAONDERA: I thank the Deputy Minister for the response given. He said the councils are being allocated money by ZINARA to take care of the feeder roads. Is it Government policy that we have some Members of Parliament who are encouraging members of the public in rural areas to contribute $2 towards buying fuel for the machinery used in the maintenance of roads?
*MR. MADANHA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I will respond to this pertinent question raised by the hon. member. We have heard that in some constituencies or areas members of the public are asked to make a contribution of $2 for buying diesel used by the machinery meant for maintaining the roads. I would advise you to report this to the police because there could be some fraudsters who are getting money from people. We know councils are being given money by ZINARA and the money given is supposed to be used for fueling the machinery for the repair of these roads. Whosoever is doing that might be a fraudster.