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Local authorities urged to rehabilitate roads

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza, has challenged local authorities across the country to attend to potholes, which usually get more exposed during the rainy season.

Potholes have since become common on most urban roads with local authorities citing inadequate funding to fix them.

Speaking in Parliament Wednesday, Matiza said local authorities should use funding recently disbursed by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) to attend to the potholes and minimise road accidents.

Matiza was responding to a question by Gutu legislator, Pupurai Togarepi, who had asked how his ministry intended to fix the potholes problem.

“We are now approaching the rainy season and we see a lot of potholes during this period,” said Togarepi.  

“We have seen roads that you have maintained and fixed but there are those roads that you are not maintaining at the moment.  What plans do you have to make sure that potholes are fixed in order to avoid accidents on the roads?” 

In his response Matiza said: “Right now, we have money for maintenance that was given to provinces to maintain and fix potholes.  The money is coming from ZINARA and it is given to local authorities.  The urban councils have received money from ZINARA.  They should do their work looking at the rainy season that is approaching.”  

He said the department of Roads should also be working to ensure the condition of roads improves.  

“That is why you are seeing a lot of work being done on the roads,” he said.  

“It is being done in preparation of the rainy season so that when the rain arrives we are found prepared.”

Mbizo Member of Parliament, Settlement Chikwinya said councils should desist from using gravel in filling-in potholes arguing that was unsustainable. 

“Honourable Minister, is the filling in of gravel in potholes in a tarred road sustainable seeing that we are repeating it year after year?” he queried. 

Matiza however said it was the responsibility of local authorities to ensure use of proper material in the exercise.

“I would like to thank the honourable member for that question,” said Matiza.  

“He pointed out that local authorities themselves have the power and responsibility to supervise the quality of work that is done by those who repair the roads. It is incumbent upon the authorities to make sure that the workmanship is done properly.”

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