Following on from – Are We Going Down The Drain… Again? Part 1:
Then there is another monstrosity in the form of the Zimbabwe National Road Agency, ZINARA. One is often reminded of another miscreation, the National Oil Corporation of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) which, despite the glaring reality that we are yet to strike oil, that was shoved down our throats only for it to manifest one of the most devastating fuel shortages this country has ever experienced.
NOCZIM proved to be a blatant funnelling of state resources into the pockets of a handful of clever dicks. To this day, the culprits are yet to see the four walls of a prison cell as is expected of miscreants of this kind. Shock turned to desperation as very prominent politicians were dispatched to the mountains to seek divine intervention of a traditional kind.
If the images of shoeless leaders witnessing pure diesel gushing from a rock awash in the blogosphere are any accurate, then it explains why Zimbabwe is in the mess it is in. But that is not the point. Another elaborate siphon of state funds has entered the fray, ZINARA, and the fact that it has been in operation for close to four years is cause for concern. Just the acronym itself should send shivers of trepidation.
Anyone who has driven on the roads in Zimbabwe will tell you that they are arguably the worst. Let me drop any comparison because that would open a Pandora’s box. In some parts of the country, the roads have simply vanished, reclaimed by the advancing bush.
A giraffe is claimed to have disappeared into one notorious drumhole. It is stuff of crisis proportions if highways are fraught with gulleys and are evidently disintegrating by the day. That fatalities are the norm on our roads should to surprise anyone.
It then begs the question: what the heck is ZINARA doing?
Time there was when the mere existence of a ministry dealing with roads and transport was enough to keep our roads in pristine condition. It then boggles the mind why an entity created for the purpose decides that their first act is to acquire new headquarters and a shiny fleet of vehicles for their ‘hard working’ executives? What has this got to do with fixing the roads? Get your hands dirty first to earn your keep, I say.
The toll fees that we are levied on the highways should be going into the coffers of ZINARA to help fix the roads. Before we can even smell the bitumen, there now is a proposal on the table to increase the tolls so that they are ‘in line with those in the region.’ OR WHAT? Tell us where the money already collected is!
The only time the public knew anything about the revenues from toll gates was when some more clever dicks employed the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, ZIMRA, originally tasked with collecting the toll fees were caught with their hands in the till. They had managed to spirit away more than a million dollars by the time they were caught. A MILLION DOLLARS! How selfish can one get!
Then we read in the press that ZINARA is blacklisting a number of local authorities for the abuse of something called called the Road Fund. Where is the accountability or transparency in all this? Why is it that all we hear does not directly translate into good roads that we are be paying for through levies and toll fees?
Talking about toll fees, tell us, has the role of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZRP’s national traffic cops been amended to include the mandatory collection of another set of toll fees? Is it true that traffic police have each been given a daily target to collect from motorists? If that is the case, then one can explain why Zimbabwe arguably has the highest number of road blocks on the continent per kilometre of road, easily surpassing those of Mobutu Sese Seko’s era.
That does not include those irritating bike cops who run the danger of being run over themselves. Never mind the fact that they are so blatantly corrupt, in a manner of speaking. How long shall they kill our economy while we stand aside and look? Surely?
Image courtesy of Sokwanele