The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara), has suspended the use of a tollgate structure that was extensively damaged after an accident which occurred on Saturday night at Lothian tolling point in Masvingo.
The structure was heavily damaged and is now a safety hazard both to motorists and Zinara employees.
In an interview with the Herald Finance and Business yesterday, Zinara public relations manager Mr Tendai Mugabe, said the administration would temporarily use detours on both sides of the road for toll fees collections while necessary repairs were being done.
Social media on Tuesday was awash with pictures of the damaged tolling structure with some insinuating that it was the normal infrastructure being used by Zinara to collect toll fees.
Mr Mugabe said they were urgently repairing the tolling structure to ensure safety of their staff and that of the motoring public.
“Our insurer is working with our engineers and have done the assessment of the damage with a view to do the necessary repairs at the shortest possible time,” said Mr Mugabe.
“In the meantime, we are going to use a detour to collect toll fees as a temporary measure. We are also engaging our parent Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to ensure that a standard tolling structure is constructed as a permanent solution.”
Mr Mugabe dismissed social media reports that they were neglecting the tolling infrastructure.
“The picture that is being circulated on social media is what has remained after the accident,” said Mr Mugabe.
“I don’t know what is the mischief behind the circulation of the picture of a damaged structure without showing pictures of the initial structure or those of the accident. It is also important to note that what we have at the Lothian tollgate is a temporary structure and we are having engagements with our Ministry to ensure that a permanent structure is built at the Lothian tolling site.”
Mr Mugabe said Zinara was committed to the development of a world-class road network in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.
He said their mandate was to ensure that they disburse funds for road works to road authorities. “We are doing everything to ensure that our Government meets the targets of Vision 2030 and we are cognisant of the fact that a good road network is a key enabler to that vision,” said Mr Mugabe.
“One of our key objectives is to ensure that we perform timely disbursements to road authorities once they have acquitted their previous disbursements.”–herald.co.zw