Introductory background on ZINARA Tolling Operations
The Zimbabwe Government adopted a policy of user-pay principle were road users pay as they use the road.
Zinara Tolling is guided by Statutory Instrument 39 of 2009 which has been amended several times over the past years.
At inception the Statutory Instrument empowered ZIMRA to collect toll fees on behalf of ZINARA which at the time was not capacitated enough to undertake such a massive project.
This saw Zimra employing staff and manning tollgates all around the country on major highways. This period saw the collection of toll fees in the open on the gazetted tolling points. Tolling staff would just stand in the open and collect the fees. This was hazardous to the collectors as they risked being run over by unscrupulous motorists resisting to pay the fees. Enforcement of collection was not efficient since it was done using the manual ticketing system which was open to abuse by the collectors due to the inherent loopholes in the manual system
• Some collectors will allow motorists to pass without paying
• Some motorists will negotiate for a lower toll fee
• Some collectors were recycling tickets
• It was difficult to ascertain the actual vehicle population
We learnt that manual collection systems are not efficient, difficult to audit, data is difficult to compile and reconcile.
In September 2013 the Statutory Instrument was amended to allow ZINARA to fully take over the collection of Toll fees from ZIMRA which was operating on an agency basis.
From the lessons learnt, ZINARA working with its partners, developed a Computerised toll collection system. ZINARA took over the collection of toll fees on the 1st of October 2013 after the amendment of the statutory instrument that empowered it to collect the fees on its own as it felt it had
capacitated itself to run the project. The transition from ZIMRA to Zinara was a fairly smooth one as ZIMRA was willing to share information as well as documentation.
At takeover ZINARA crafted its own work flow procedures and documentation. The computerised collection system worked to the advantage of Zinara:
• Revenue collection efficiency improved by over 80 %
• Improved Auditability of revenue collected
• Issue of counterfeit receipts was eliminated
• Real time vehicle and revenue statistics were now available