Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Drowning under US$206m DBSA loan, ZINARA disburses US$137m for roads

The Zimbabwe National Road Authority (ZINARA) is set to disburse ZWL 17 billion (US$137 096 774) towards road rehabilitation to 93 road authorities across the country. The allocation is expected to start in the next two weeks.

This year, the authority has set a collection target of ZWL 34 billion US$274 193 548.387) from road users through road fees.

Of that amount, some huge figures are going to service the US$206 million loan that was extended to Zimbabwe by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in 2011.

The loan was for the refurbishment of the Plumtree-Mutare highway.

ZINARA board chairman George Manyaya
ZINARA board chairman George Manyaya

Addressing journalists on Tuesday, ZINARA board chairman George Manyaya confirmed the authority had organised an allocation of ZWL 17 billion to the local authorities.

“We have already mobilised funds for the 2022 roads disbursements and in total this year Zinara in the next two weeks is ready to disburse ZWL 17 billion for road rehabilitation,” he said.

The Government of Zimbabwe had stopped paying back the loan citing non-availability of foreign currency, and other factors. This resulted in penalties, making the loan expensive, and over-ran the original 10-year repayment period to May this year.

ZINARA finance director Adam Zvandasara said the loan tenure had been extended by five more years, and interest cut from 6.18 percent to five percent. The authority is left with US$165 million of the total loan accrued 11 years ago.

ZINARA CEO Nkosilathi Ncube said, of the ZWL 34 billion that the authority expects to accumulate, certain huge amounts would go to servicing the loan.

“The allocation for this year, we are saying we will disburse ZWL17 billion. Of that 17 billion, our projection is that this year we will collect around ZWL 34 billion.

“So, ZWL17 billion will go directly to the road for new construction and then there is another amount which will go back to paying a loan for Plumtree border to Mutare, the main highway. So, we are still paying for that road.

“We constructed that road through the funds that came from DBSA. The loan was for US$206 million and we have to pay back,” he said.

“So, most of the funds that you won’t see out of that ZWL 34 billion will be going to construct the road. In terms of the money that goes to run ZINARA, it is just below 4%.

“So effectively 95% of that ZWL 34 billion will have to go back to the roads.”

Ncube said the loan was useful because “it gave us a road”.

He added: “It is an expensive loan which is why we easily went into arrears and for the past 15 months we have been rectifying those arrears so that the bank does not call back the loan and put Zimbabwe on the red.” Nehanda Radio

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