23 toll-gate staffers dismissed for fraud in three months

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By Idah Mhetu

A company managing part of the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara)’s toll-gate network has dismissed some 23 workers on charges of fraud in the last three months, Parliament has heard.

During a tour of Intertoll Zimbabwe’s operations Wednesday, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport heard that the current toll-gate charges have become unsustainable for business.

Light vehicles pay $2, heavy vehicles are being charged $5 while buses pay $4 and haulage trucks have to part with $10 every time they go through a toll-gate.

Intertoll country operations director, Joseph Mafanuke told the committee that the company’s platform can be audited and has helped in unearthing fraud at five toll-gates.

“We have a number of people who were dismissed on allegations of fraud, this is because we have a system that can be audited. Once you use it, there is a foot print which can be traced back in future,” Mafanuke said.

“The system has helped us unearth a scam which led to the dismissal of the 23 people.”

The 23 were dismissed from Ntabazinduna (10), Rusape (8), Gweru South (3), Gweru north (1) and Norton where a single worker was fired on charges of fraud.

Intertoll Zimbabwe manages toll plazas along the Plumtree-Mutare highway as well as the road linking the country’s two largest cities Harare and Bulawayo.

The Intertoll official suggested the current rates charged at toll-gates are too low to sustain them as a business and a hike is imminent.

“It is good that the rates have been managed well but we believe the client (Zinara), is attending to the issue of toll fees. With the escalation of prices, one day the cost tolling or cost of collecting will be higher than the revenue collected, which inevitably needs urgent review,” he said.

Last month, Zinara dismissed social media messages purporting that toll fees were to be revised upwards.