HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would like to add my voice to the report and thank the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Brian Dube for presenting the ZINARA’s Report. Madam Speaker, we heard that there is lack of good governance in ZINARA and that there are structural issues arising from ZINARA and the road fund. Madam Speaker, ZINARA according to the forensic report is a good example of bad governance. This is evidenced by the state of our roads. I would like to focus on one issue – that of local authorities. ZINARA’s role is to collect vehicle licence money and give that money to local authorities whose mandate is to maintain urban roads. Local authorities can only maintain their roads if they are given money on a regular basis. ZINARA is supposed to advise local authorities on how many vehicles are licensed in their towns so that they know how much has been collected by ZINARA, which money must further be forwarded to local authorities. The sad reality Madam Speaker is that most local authorities do not have that information and I am reliably informed that ZINARA is not willing to avail that information, hence the reason corruption issues are raised in this regard on ZINARA.
In line with the principles of devolution Madam Speaker, local authorities must be allowed to collect vehicle registration licence fees because cars are registered in their local authorities and those cars use their roads. So that money must be used to maintain those roads. If you look at for example, Bulawayo, right now money that is collected from Bulawayo goes to Harare and then comes back to Bulawayo. This is why local authorities are complaining that they are not being given their money on a regular basis. This must come to a stop. We want decentralisation of funds to allow local authorities to maintain their roads. Hon. Mushoriwa alluded to the fact that our children do not know that their roads were tarred at some point. 41 years after Independence we are supposed to be having state of the art roads. Look at the state of our roads, they are in a sorry state. It is like we have gone back to Stone Age. Hon Nduna earlier on also alluded to the fact that we have got 25 million vehicles which are licenced in this country and it is not adding up. Look at the state of our roads and look at the amount of money which is being collected. That money is not being used for the purposes it is supposed to be used for because of corruption.
I would like to recommend that local authorities must be allowed to collect vehicle licences and use them for road maintenance as opposed to what is happening right now where collection is centralised. This is a recipe for corruption.
I would like to urge Government to devolve power to local authorities. It must not just be on paper, it must be real for the good governance of this country and for the good of everyone else. I rest my case.