BULAWAYO -Zimbabwe’s transport minister says he has “no choice” but to more than double the number of tollgates on the country’s dilapidated roads, state media reported on Thursday.
Obert Mpofu said that repairing Zimbabwe’s roads network “requires money that Treasury doesn’t have”, the state-owned Chronicle newspaper reported from Bulawayo.
Mpofu, a former mines minister, told a workshop in Bulawayo that the authorities would add another 30 tollgates. Ten of them should be operational by the end of March, the Chronicle said.
Zimbabwe already has 24 tollgates. Motorists driving family cars pay US2 at each toll. Usually there are no alternative roads motorists can travel on to avoid the tolls, unlike in other countries.
Motorists complain that having to pay several tolls on a trip, plus fines and/or bribes to police at roadblocks, makes travelling unaffordable.
“At this rate, it will soon be cheaper to fly [from Bulawayo]to Harare,” said online commentator Seles.
Collin Nyabadza wrote: “Yes we really appreciate the need to fix our dilapidated roads but there are certainly other ways than squeezing the people who are already suffering a lot.”
The minister was reported as saying: “I know this decision isn’t popular with motorists.” – Sapa