The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) has announced that it, for several months, didn’t factor in the auction rate to the toll gate fees. According to a report by The Herald, the national road authority suddenly realised this as we are entering the busy Christmas period.
“Toll fees, set in US dollars, but converted at the prevailing auction exchange rate are several months out of date when it comes to local currency will rise today to $220 for a light vehicle to come close to the almost $109 to US$1 seen in the last auction of this year.”The Herald
Here are the new ZINARA toll gate fees in local currency (foreign currency prices remain unchanged):
“What we are simply doing is adjusting the local payments in line with the prevailing foreign currency auction rate. Those paid in foreign currency remain the same.”Tendai Mugabe ZINARA PR & Marketing Manager (via The Herald)
One would imagine that since the auction rate has been defended by the govt at every turn, its agencies would at the very least keep in step with it and not dole the responsibility onto the motorist in one fell swoop. At this point, I am sure that there are some of you who will say I am nitpicking and well.. fair enough. But the fact remains that ZINARA needs to make sure it gives those on the roads fair warning and make discernable intervals to remain in step with the auction rate.
In saying that, this won’t bother those who are paying for toll fees in foreign currency because nothing has changed in that respect. But for those who had set aside a toll gate budget in local currency as they travel to spend the holidays with family and friends, this is an inconvenience.
Toll gate payment methods from best to worst
The fees in local currency going up isn’t really going to stop any of those determined from travelling this festive period. So before you set off here are the options to pay for your ZINARA toll fees from best to worst.
If you want to sail through the tollgates then physical currency is probably your best option. You will of course need change because, depending on what time you arrive, the toll booths might not have any to break big demominations. Now, I say this knowing that it isn’t easy to find change or to spend physical money but if you want to skip the wait this is your best option.
ZINARA Tap Card
The national road authority has its own tap card which you can fund in order to make things easier when you get to the toll booth which you can get one by visiting anyone of one of ZINARA’s offices nationwide (locations are in the link here). NMB has a similar facility with its own Tap Card which it announced last year when toll gate congestion had ZINARA scrambling for partners to reduce queues. You can now also top up your ZINARA toll gate card vis ZIPIT:
Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile money operator, EcoCash has a dedicated toll gate payment facility that you can fund a couple of hours before you set off.
Travel Safe this Easter and prefund your Zinara Toll gate account on EcoCash at least 2 hours ahead of your journey to get express passage at any tollgate— EcoCash Zimbabwe (@EcoCashZW) April 2, 2021
Dial *151*2*7*3# and first register your vehicle Reg number before prepaying into your account
Live Life the EcoCash Way! pic.twitter.com/ehPNpMPNnD
“Travel Safe this Easter and prefund your Zinara Toll gate account on EcoCash at least 2 hours ahead of your journey to get express passage at any tollgate Dial *151*2*7*3# and first register your vehicle Reg number before prepaying into your account”
Mobile Money and Swipe
This has to be your absolute last resort because a good number of toll gates are in areas without adequate network coverage. Using swipe, or your regular EcoCash, OneMoney or Telecash wallet as a primary will give you headaches all the way to your destination. These methods only should be a backup.