Local authorities’ representative bodies have refuted claims that they are failing to utilise funds from the National Roads Administration Authority (ZINARA) but have counter accused the authority for dictating the use and disbursement times of the road fund.

The authorities told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that the funds are insufficient to meet the expensive requirements of roads rehabilitation and construction work.

The parliamentary portfolio committee had quizzed the Association of Rural District Councils and the Urban Councils Association on a number of charges, among them failure to utilise ZINARA funds in road maintenance work.

In response, Acting Chairman of the Engineer’s Forum, Engineer Antony Mujuru, who came together with the local authorities’ unions, said the sentiments that authorities are failing to utilise funds are misleading as most of the money provided is gobbled up by plant and equipment hire.

The Urban Councils Association charged the administrator of the National Road Fund of favouring rural district councils in the disbursement of funds when urban councils’ roads require more funding.

He also revealed that they are queuing for one competent roads construction company which provides quality services.