(Last Updated on February 1, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Main Opposition MDC Alliance has condemned the decision by the government to peg toll fees to the US dollar which means when the exchange rate goes up motorists subsequently will have to pay more.
The party’s Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Settlement Chikwinya said it was against any logic to do so when the same government has not adjusted the salaries for its employees to match what they earned before the introduction of the local currency.
“The MDC Alliance appreciates that under such COVID-19 induced lockdown conditions, most travellers are civil servants in essential service. It, therefore, goes against logic that civil servants whose salaries are RTGS based and have not been increased to match the Pre RTGS era are the same salaries that are supposed to sustain Toll fees that have now been pegged to match the time when the country was under the USD era.
“What evades the mind of policymakers is the reality that the auction-rate is reported to be stagnant for the past 6 months and therefore it remains baffling to have an increment of close to 200 percent compound in less than 60 days,” said Chikwinya.
Chikwinya noted that the recent decision by the government together with the recent increase in the fuel prices was going to make prices for goods and services effectively more expensive to the majority of Zimbabweans.
The MDC Alliance urged the government to realise the burdens it has placed on ordinary citizens and called for a revision of the salaries to be aligned to the pre-October 2018 salaries as called on by the various labour unions.
“The MDC Alliance calls on the government to heed the call of labour unions across the labour spectrum and align salaries to pre October 2018 when they were USD based. If the government sees it fit to align costs such as toll fees to the USD era, certainly income should follow suit.
“What is more painstaking is that while travellers pay such huge amounts through toll fees, reports of corruption and looting of funds at ZINARA continue unabated yet our roads continue to dilapidated with government quick to blame Local Authorities who are nowhere near revenue collection of road user funds,” he added.