Zinara: US$1 million needed to repair toll gate attacked during January protests

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By Idah Mhetu

ACTING ZINARA CEO Wishes Mauwa says the parastatal requires US$1 million to repair the Skyline toll gate which was torched during fierce January protests following a fuel price hike by government.

The toll gate is located along the Harare-Beitbridge road near Harare’s Southlea Park suburb.

Briefing members of parliament’s transport and infrastructure development committee during a tour to the road facility on Monday, Mauwa said the toll gate has not yet been repaired because the parastatal needed US$1 million for the job.

“To repair Skyline toll gate, Zinara needs about US$1 million which is going to be used to repair the whole toll gate and also buy the machinery and cameras needed,” he said.

When such repairs are done, Mauwa added, this would still be on a temporary basis as there were plans to move the facility some 20km further.

This, he said, would be an attempt to move away from residential homes on the outskirts of Harare which were now surrounding the Skyline toll gate.

He said the new toll gate would need US$2 million to set up.

Mauwa further told the parliamentarians that most vehicles such as committer omnibuses had established routes through the sprouting settlements in order to evade paying toll fees.

“We have been considering moving the toll gate 20km away so that we can move away from the residents since the toll gate is now surrounded by homes,” he said.

“And again, most motorists especially commuter omnibus drivers now have the habit of fleeing the toll gate using roads in the residential homes around.

“We want the toll gate to be moved to a place where there are no homes around.”

Mauwa said the toll gate was not insured and risked being vandalised again.

It also does not have a processing office but a makeshift cabin.

Six months after it was vandalised, the place still looks the same with windows replaced with plastics. It has no cash boxes or safes to keep money safe.

Mauwa said toll gates were not insured because most of them are usually situated away from towns and cities where there is less possibility of being vandalised.

He also said it was government’s duty to ensure they were insured.