The City of Bulawayo has engaged a local contractor to repair road infrastructure that was damaged by protestors during January’s shutdown protests.
Most of the infrastructure that was destroyed across the city included road signs, traffic lights and road cables.
Council revealed that the rehabilitation will cost the local authority US$300 000.
In an interview with CITE, City of Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube confirmed a local contractor was on the ground, working to repair the road signs and traffic lights before the 2019 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair began.
“We have managed to clear most of what damaged but what still needs to be repaired are the road signs and traffic lights which incurred most damages. The council engaged a local company, which usually does our maintenance work to rehabilitate these,” he said.
Dube projected that in two weeks’ time, when Bulawayo receives visitors for the Trade Fair in April 23, most of the road infrastructure would have been fixed to control human and traffic movement.
“The contractor promised council he can manage to fix all the traffic lights in the city in time for the trade fair while he will continue working on the road signs. Without functional traffic lights and road signs, it would be difficult to control traffic, let alone have order on our streets but we are confident the contractor will do a good job to repair all damaged infrastructure in time,” the town clerk said.
In its survey, council had quantified that the city would require US$300 000 to fix damaged infrastructure but the local authority estimated the total value of what was destroyed could reach RTGS$1 million.
Bulawayo was the most affected after the shutdown protests and businesses that were looted across the city said they needed $19.5 million to recover.
The government had said it was going to compensate some of the city’s businesses that were affected during the protests but when it availed the rescue fund, it termed it as a loan.
“Government has not chipped it to assist council and all the money if coming out of council’s pocket,” said the town clerk.