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Motorist should brace for more tollgates after government announced that it will establish 10 toll plazas by April before increasing the number to 32 by year end.

The new tollgates which were announced by Transport minister Obert Mpofu come as government said it was embarking on the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway next month and that fresh revenue should fund the project.

Briefing the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) board during its 2015 inaugural meeting, Mpofu said the increase in the tollgates was aimed at increasing revenue for road rehabilitation and in turn reduce road carnage.

"I know when we raised the toll fees people complained, but roads are being worked on and now we are going to introduce new toll plazas so that we get more revenue to do the work. We want to ensure that we have good roads in the country and if we are to achieve that, we need extra revenue to do so," Mpofu said.

He said the construction of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road was among the top priority for government this year and that plans were already underway to kick-start the process.

"Earlier on I met minister Chinamasa (Patrick) Finance, to discuss this project and we agreed that we have to start the process earliest mid next month," Mpofu said.

Most of the tollgates, according to the minister will be erected in all major roads so that government gets maximum revenue with a target of $220 million having been set for Zinara in 2015 up from $132 million set in 2014.

"It’s not always popularity that matters but action and deliverables and that is what we are concerned about," he said.

Zinara, which has been in the media for the past weeks on allegations of poor corporate governance, was defended by the minister challenging those accusing the board of breaching the good governance code to come out clean and state their agenda of fighting the parastatal which is delivering above expectations despite the economic hardships the country is going through.

"Those people who are attacking the board are doing so because we are doing something which is noticeable, I am happy about the way the board is operating. They are doing a good job and that have managed to achieve what we set for them in the shortest period of time," he said.

Mpofu named the construction of the Airport road after taking over from Harare City Council as one of its major successes which is now almost complete.

"The work that we did on that project within six months could not be done by a certain organisation for over 10 years. Is that what you call failure?" Mpofu asked.

Zinara board chair, Albert Mhlanga said his organisation among other things was targeting the completion of the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare highways, establishment of an emergency fund to cater for disastrous situations such as bridge damages and road harm due to rains and other calamities.

Earlier on, Mpofu met the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe board where he told them to speedily finalise the Highway Code to ensure that it was line with the Sadc transport framework.

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