Chaotic transport in Chikombedzi (30-11-06)

CHIKOMBEDZI - People in the Chikombedzi area are facing rapidly worsening transport problems due to the escalating shortage of fuel and the chaotic state of roads in their area.
Residents say many roads in the area are in a shocking condition and so dusty that it is dangerous t

o use them for fear of accidents. The roads are not maintained by the roads department and are so uneven and full of potholes that it is difficult for vehicles to travel at a reasonable speed without suffering serious damage.
Motorists avoid using roads in the area and vehicles like buses are seldom seen. This has opened up the way for unscrupulous and unlicensed drivers to move in and offer the only means of transport in the area with their un-roadworthy vehicles.
“We are sick and tired of these conmen who use their moving coffins to take advantage of us,” said Patrick Mapengo, one of the residents facing transport problems.
According to residents, these unlicensed drivers and their un-roadworthy vehicles are the main cause of accidents in the area. “These greedy gold diggers milk us as much as they can because they know we are desperate for transport,” said Mapengo. They also frequently overload vehicles or overcharge passengers for short distances. The chaotic state of the roads also contributes to accidents.
Government vehicles refuse to use roads in the area thus reducing the availability of public transport. Residents say the government is ignoring them and does not care. Instead, the government is favoring the use of tarred roads. All the buses were transferred to ZUPCO Zimbabwe United Passenger Company) which also does not operate in the area.
Residents also say their area has become a popular hunting ground for politicians who make generous promises, especially during elections campaigns, to provide food, employment and new infrastructure. Although grievances were raised with Aaron Baloyi, the MP in the area, people were only made false promises before he died earlier this year.

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