Harare City Council is partly to blame for the poor state of roads around the city after it emerged that it has not followed laid down procedures to unlock the $46,5 million it was allocated by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) this year.
Council is now expected to receive part of the money in a few days after it finally submitted its work plans to Zinara this week.
Zinara acting chief executive Engineer Moses Chigonyati said the road authority disburses money based on a work plan and the processing of payment takes a few days.
"We are assessing the programme of works which they brought this week. We could not disburse anything without receiving that, but as it stands it will take two or three days to disburse the money after approval," he said.
For this year, Zinara has set aside $20 million for routine maintenance, which will be disbursed in $5 million tranches per quarter.
Routine maintenance is paid for in advance.
"The rest, $26 504 212, is allocated to periodic maintenance, this is paid on completion of works. As of now, Zinara is receiving the 2020 programme of works, which will be used to start the disbursement process. We anticipate to make the disbursements in a week or two," he said.
Eng Chingonyati said as of last year, Harare received $15,1 million for both routine and periodic maintenance on time after it submitted its paperwork early.
He said Zinara does not pay contractors directly, but transfers funds directly into the council account dedicated for such funds.
Harare spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme had earlier on said the city was facing difficulties in accessing its allocations from Zinara.
"Zinara has not disbursed any money to Harare for roads. We are battling to have Zinara disburse the chunk for the first quarter, so far there is no joy in terms of funds coming our way," he said.
Quizzed whether council had followed due process to access the funds, Mr Chideme said, "the same Zinara has not paid contractors for work done last year."
Last year, council officials said they had targeted to repair 1 130 kilometres, but only managed a paltry 28km.
Presenting the city's 2020 budget, Finance and Development Committee chairperson Councillor Luckson Mukunguma conceded that the city's road network was in shambles.
"The state of our roads remains deplorable and this year we managed to do only 10km of the targeted 545km, then in terms of preventive maintenance we did only 18km of the targeted 585km," he said.
"This was largely due to the late disbursement of funds and price variations caused by distortions in the market."