A Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) tollgate situated along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge highway has become notorious for theft and corruption involving the department’s cashiers, a report by CITE claims.
The Colleen Bawn Tollgate does not have sophisticated control facilities showing videos and registration numbers for all vehicles that pass through the gates daily, and even boom gates, thus opening the door for corrupt activities.
According to CITE, some motorists were made to pay any amount they have to allow passage while those who pay the full amount were not given receipts.
Cashiers at the tollgate were reportedly using bank cards and pocketing foreign currency paid by motorists.
For example, a cashier would collect US$10 from a haulage truck driver and instead of cashing it as forex, he or she would swipe for ZW$1100 and pocket US$10.
The US$10 fetches about ZWL$2 000 on the parallel market so from a single transaction, a cashier pockets about ZWL$900 thus depriving ZINARA of the much-needed foreign currency.
Speaking during the International Anti-Corruption Day commemorations in Harare recently, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said ZINARA is one of the three most corrupt State departments.
The other two are the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). She said:
VID, ZINARA, and police have normalised corruption. They are now the most corrupt departments in government.
We are seized with this cancer and quite a number of the employees in these state departments have been arrested in recent months.
At the Shurugwi tollgate, we had to arrest all workers stationed there as they using ZINARA swiping cards and pocketing state money.
An employee would take home not less than $70 000 bond or at least more than US$200 a day.
Police officers manning the roadblocks are also corrupt as they are taking bribes from the public.
This has caused loss of life through road traffic accidents because they allow even vehicles, which are unroadworthy to pass through roadblocks.
Some people are packed like sardines in small vehicles aiding the spread of COVID-19.
ZINARA is a corporate body that was established in terms of the Road Act (Chapter 13:18).
Its mandate is to fix, collect, disburse road user charges and mobilise revenue for roads development and maintenance.
ZINARA also monitors funds that would have been disbursed for road maintenance to road authorities.