THE government says it is geared to repair badly damaged highways, including the Harare-Chirundu Road and Beitbrige-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, which are in a deplorable state as reported by The NewsHawks a fortnight ago.
The bad state of the roads has resulted in accidents, leading to loss of lives, while in many cases drivers have been forced to sleep by the roadside after hitting deep potholes. Tourists and hospitality industry players have also been negatively affected by the poor state of roads, which have resulted in the cancellation of bookings.
Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Felix Mhona (pictured) told The NewsHawks his ministry was moving to attend to roads.
‘‘There will be massive road construction around the country this year as we target to rehabilitate major highways. Harare-Chirundu highway is the topical one of all the roads that the government is gearing to rehabilitate. Be rest assured that this is a priority area that we are going to work on,’’ said Mhona.
‘‘The major highway was designed in two phases and, as we speak, we are over 400 kilometres from Beitbridge to Harare. This will pave the way for Harare-Chirundu highway that remains a topical road network for the region. Construction of the highway road will start soon after the tendering process.’’
The Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway links southern Africa with the central and northern parts of the continent. It connects Zimbabwe and South Africa with other countries like Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania as well as other countries further north.
Mhona said the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway is also in the government’s plans. ‘‘Another topical one is Beitbridge-Bulawayo that links to the resort town of Victoria Falls. We are going to construct the entire road, but in the meantime we are going to attend to such bad sections. You will see our teams working on bad stretches along this highway,’’ said Mhona.
He also said work to rehabilitate Karoi-Binga road is now underway.
‘‘For the Harare-Domboshava road, people who were settled near the highway will be evicted to pave way for the new road construction. We will be forced to relocate some people settled near the road network,’’ said Mhona.
Local travel, trade and economic situation is worsened by the terrible state of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo highway. The road is badly damaged, especially between Mazunga and Makhado areas, which lie within the 60 kilometre and 120 kilometre stretch from Beitbridge to Bulawayo.