The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is criticizing a government idea to introduce tollgates in cities, saying tolls would be a financial burden on workers who already struggle to make ends meet.
But the Zimbabwe National Road Administration, known as Zinara, says it needs nearly $2 billion US to rebuild and maintain the country’s dilapidated road network.
To help raise the needed revenues, last week Transport Minister Obert Mpofu proposed placing tollgates in urban centres. The minister is now getting feedback from stakeholders.
For his part, ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo argues that the proposed tollgates will force commuter omnibus operators to raise fares, who will pass that cost on to passengers.
Mr. Moyo argued that toll gates have long been in rural areas, but rural roads are in the same poor condition as the rest of the country’s roads.
In an interview with Studio 7, Japhet Moyo says the government needs to figure out its long-term plan:
Another new revenue stream is a revamped vehicle licensing fee scheme introduced this month. Vehicle licensing will now be based on the total mass of a vehicle per a sliding scale. Some vehicle owners say they don’t like the changes, but Zinara spokesman Augustine Moyo defended the new fees, saying they align with what other countries charge. He also said the new scheme would ensure a boost in revenues essential to rebuilding the roads.
Augustine Moyo describes the new fee scheme in this interview with Studio 7: