By Judith Sibanda
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is working on rehabilitating the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo highway that has suffered from the heavy rains received so far in the country.
The 429-kilometre stretch has been experiencing severe damages especially in Hwange and Umguza district with motorists forced to navigate around the massive potholes.
The damage, apart from the heavy rains has been blamed on the haulage trucks which use the highway.
Some motorists who spoke to CITE said the condition of the road needs urgent attention.
“I have been stuck here since yesterday afternoon because I hit a pothole that had filled water and my tyre was affected,” said the motorist.
“Driving on this road has been a nightmare, and we have not seen any tangible action being taken to address this situation yet we pay for those services. We wish something could be done so that our vehicles and people’s lives could be saved.”
Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo acknowledged the motorists plight and said government has pledged to step in.
“We were aware of what is happening, but this was due to the ongoing rains that we are receiving,” Moyo said.
“Relevant ministry officials are already on the ground to address the issue and we hope that we will be able to receive more funds from the central government to complete the works.
“We are going to patch the highway in phases starting from the most affected areas and we hope that very soon everything will be back to normal.”
Meanwhile, Government is also mobilising funds for the repair and rehabilitation of the country’s roads that have become death traps for the travelling public.
Incessant rains that have been pounding the country for the past months have worsened the damage on the roads leading the Government to declare a State of Disaster to enable resource mobilisation.
Although the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) collects road toll fees, it then disburses the funds to local authorities, most of which have been found wanting as they divert the funds instead of maintaining roads.