Residents of Chitungwiza have reacted with utter dismay to the proposal for introduction of Urban Tollgates by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere.
Minister Kasukuwere is proposing for the introduction of urban tollgates that will be managed by urban local authorities in an effort to raise funds for road construction and maintenance.
All residential trunk and highway roads in Zimbabwe are in an unpassable state as they resemble gullies and dongas despite the fact that vehicle owners pay for licences and tollgates fees to the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA).
Residents want to understand what the money being collected by ZINARA is being used for before being taxed for their hard earned cash in these harsh economic times.
“They government must give us the figures that have been collected by ZINARA since its formation and how the money was used,” said Blessing Pasango (26) of Zengeza 1.
Others are of the view that the government is bent on milking citizens because of the shrinking revenue base in a country where unemployment is more than 85%, while companies are downsizing and closing businesses forever citing high operating costs.
“ZANU PF has become addict at making money through problems that they will have deliberately created through omission or commission,” said Baba Mumu of Zengeza 3.
“They centralized the licensing of motor vehicles by creating ZINARA which deprived local authorites of revenue from road licences,” continued Baba Mumu.
“It is now common knowledge that ZINARA has become a cash cow for the ruling elites whilst neglecting to pay local authorities for road maintenance the duty for which it was created for,” said Ba Mumu.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) has blasted the proposal as being “misguided and a result of greediness by government”.
Others believe that it is the idea of ZANU PF commissariat department to fundraise at the local level for the harmonized 2018 elections which are approaching.
“This is a ZANU PF strategy to incentivize their militias for the 2018 general elections as they used to do at Mbare Musika. We know that for more than 12 years, the militant ZANU PF terror group, Chipangano used to collect municipal revenues from Mbare Musika bus terminus in Harare”, said Collen Muyambo (39) of Unit L.