ZANU PF Buses Caught Dodging A Tollgate
24 June 2023
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By Farai D Hove | In an embarrassing turn of events, a significant number of buses, trucks, and other vehicles associated with ZANU PF were on Saturday caught evading tollgate fees at the 22 Miles Tollgate. A clandestine detour road was allegedly created to enable these vehicles to bypass the tollgate and avoid paying toll fees. This illicit activity has resulted in substantial financial losses for the country, both in US dollars and RTGS currency. The situation raises questions about the fairness of toll collection and the authorities’ ability to enforce regulations.

The Tollgate Scandal

On a day when these vehicles were heading to a rally organized by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Chipinge, it was observed that a special detour road had been established solely for the purpose of evading tollgate fees. This unauthorized route allowed the ZANU PF convoy to bypass the tollgate altogether, causing significant losses in revenue. Reports indicate that by 10 AM, more than 100 vehicles, including buses, had already taken advantage of this illegal route.

The tollgate workers from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA), stationed at the 22 Miles Tollgate, were rendered powerless as the commandeered vehicles drove past without making the required toll payments. This blatant act of evading toll fees raises concerns about the integrity of toll collection systems and the enforcement of toll-related regulations.

Contradictory Actions by ZINARA

What adds insult to injury is the fact that just a few months ago, a ZINARA manager based at the same 22 Miles Tollgate caused the arrest of a local villager for allegedly allowing vehicles to pass through his farm to avoid the tollgate. ZINARA had vehemently declared such actions illegal, emphasizing the significant revenue losses suffered by the state due to toll evasion. This stark contradiction in ZINARA’s handling of toll avoidance incidents raises questions about the fairness and consistency of their operations.

Calls for Action

Given the gravity of the situation and the substantial financial losses incurred, it is imperative that ZINARA and other relevant authorities take immediate action to address this tollgate scandal. The police have reportedly been deployed to monitor and control the detour road, ensuring that only vehicles heading to President Mnangagwa’s rally can utilize it. However, this measure does not address the fundamental issue of toll evasion itself.

ZINARA, in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), must conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. This investigation should identify the individuals responsible for facilitating the illegal detour road and those involved in the toll evasion. The findings should then be followed by appropriate legal action to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions.

The recent incident involving ZANU PF buses and trucks evading tollgate fees at the 22 Miles Tollgate is a matter of grave concern. Not only does it highlight the need for a comprehensive review of toll collection procedures and security, but it also raises questions about the integrity of those entrusted with enforcing these regulations.

To restore public trust in the toll collection system, it is crucial for ZINARA and other relevant authorities to act swiftly and decisively. They must investigate this scandal thoroughly, prosecute those responsible, and implement measures to prevent future toll evasion. Only by addressing these issues can Zimbabwe ensure the fair collection of toll fees and protect the country’s revenue streams.