are now part of daily life in Zimbabwe. For the first time, vehicle operators have to pay to use certain roads.
Authorities say the fees
range from $1 for small cars to $5 for large trucks and the funds will be used
to make roads safer and more efficient.
Crashes and other automobile
accidents are frequent on Zimbabwe’s roads. Among the victims, earlier this
year, was Susan Tsvangirai, the wife of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
is too early to predict the impact of the measure, said Professor Heneri
Dzinotyiweyi, who chairs a think tank based in Harare, the Zimbabwe Integrated
people seem to have been taken by surprise by the introduction of tolls. There were signs informing the public about them
in advance, he said, but “I think people never got to know exactly when they
[tollgates] would be introduced.”
dismissed suggestions that truck drivers will face a disproportionate financial
burden since they use roads more often. “Many
people feel the conditions of the roads have worsened largely because of the
usage of heavy trucks and buses and that these operators need to contribute
towards maintenance of the roads,” he said.
owners of small vehicles may be inconvenienced, he said, but he expressed
optimism that Zimbabweans will accept the system.