Byo councillors fume at shoddy road rehab in the city

Bulawayo councillors have berated the local authority’s Engineering department for the shoddy pothole patching works on the city roads.

Council’s jet patching machine has been going around the city covering potholes on some of the key roads.

However, the city fathers are not happy with the work as the potholes often resurface after a few weeks.

Speaking on the issue at the recent full council meeting, the councillors said the council should explore durable methods to rehabilitate roads around the city.

Ward 3 Councillor Silas Chigora urged both the management and the committee to do due diligence.

“Our jet patcher is not doing a good job. If you go around town following where it was used about a month or two ago, the potholes would have resurfaced. An example is along Robert Mugabe and 11th Avenue. That pothole was fixed not more than a month ago but it has resurfaced. The same happened along 6th Avenue and in less than a month there is no trace that the road was ever fixed before. We need to introspect, is the jet patcher effective?” he argued.

“Maybe it is a mixture problem or a human problem. There is a better way of fixing potholes, may we look into it. We are not doing roads correctly. I have also reported the dangerous potholes at Ascot that are at a curve. They have caused accidents. There are companies that are digging our roads to install fibres, who is monitoring them? They leave behind trenches and there is no one monitoring. The responsible department must follow up and have the issue addressed.” 

Ward 5 Cllr Felix Mhaka noted that in some areas the council employees were doing a good job.

“I was driving along Matopos Road. They were working on the pothole using a machine. They exhibited the best way of patching. They were even compact and when done one could not tell that there was a pothole prior. It was a smooth finish. That is the standard we need as a city,” Cllr Mhaka said.

Deputy Mayor and Ward 1 Cllr Mlandu Ncube, said despite the concerns raised, the engineering committee was doing a commendable job in fixing roads that were supposed to have been fixed by the government.

“People from Harare took over our roads because they collect road funds and they don’t give them back. They went to Luveve road and messed up, they did a substandard job. They took our money and spent it on their own, leaving our residents who use that particular road struggling with bad roads,” he said.

“In a normal situation, the money to fix roads must come from vehicle licenses. They brought their own company which did a substandard job. The engineering committee used its coffers to fix the road.”

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