ZB Bank to float $40m bond for roads rehab

Livingstone Marufu
The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) will float a $40 million bond through ZB Bank before the end of this year, which will be applied towards road rehabilitation.

This comes as half of the country’s road network was extensively damaged by heavy rains last season.

ZB Financial Holdings chief executive Mr Ron Mutandagayi said an earlier bond to raise $60 million in August was a success.

The funds raised from previous bond issues were committed to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, which saw most of the roads across the country being rehabilitated.

Mr Mutandagayi told The Sunday Mail Business that further bond issues would be floated on the market before year end.

“We have floated the $60 million and we are planning to float the remaining amount of $40 million anytime soon, before December.

“We would like the funds to be disbursed at a time when Zinara are still rehabilitating road networks ahead of the forthcoming rainy season,” said Mutandagayi.

On February 24 this year, President Mugabe officially declared a state of disaster on the country’s roads and infrastructure and soon after, the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, which was divided into two phases, was launched.

Phase One of the programme focuses on preserving integrity of the current network by rehabilitating the drainage system, patching potholes, clearing culverts and repairing bridges while the second phase entails periodic maintenance, regravelling, resealing and reconstruction of bridges.

Government budgeted $148, 8 million for the two phases to be funded through $100 million from the Zinara Infrastructure Bond, $15 million from the fiscus and $33,8 million availed under the Road Fund administered by Zinara.

Zinara collects around $130 million annually from road access fees, vehicle licensing fees, transit fees and fuel levy, among other revenue streams. However, the resources are often inadequate to cover the roads fund agency’s obligations.

The recent Visual Road Condition and Inventory Survey, which was conducted in 2016-2017 by the country’s road authorities, including the Zimbabwe Local Government Association (Zilga), concluded that $5,5 billion was needed to bring the country’s road network to trafficable state, as 30 percent of the total road network is “in poor to very poor condition”.

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