State of road angers locals

Villagers in Nkayi area in Matabeleland North province have urged the government to complete the construction of the Bulawayo-Nkayi road which continues to claim casualties due to its poor state of repair.

The fire brigade and police officers attend to an accident on the Bulawayo/ Nkayi road last week.
The fire brigade and police officers attend to an accident on the Bulawayo/ Nkayi road last week.

The strip road which links Bulawayo with major agricultural areas such as Gokwe, Bubi and Nkayi, is littered with potholes. The road also has narrow bridges which are difficult for motorists to negotiate.

In 1994 the government embarked on a resurfacing project, but it was abandoned after 40 km.

"The Bulawayo-Nkayi road is so bad that some parts cannot be passed during the rainy season. The road has got a lot of potholes," said Cadwell Ndlovu, a general dealer in Nkayi.

Another motorist, Titus Sibindi, accused the government of neglecting the province in favour of other roads in the country.

"Major road rehabilitation and construction has been carried out in Zvimba, Beitbridge, Marondera, Wedza and Tanganda Ngungu, but nothing has happened to Nkayi road for almost 17 years now. There is clearly no political will in our government to carry out this project," said Sibindi.

The former MP for Nkayi, Abedinco Bhebhe, said before he was recalled from parliament by the Welshman Ncube led MDC, he had done a lot to lobby government to complete the project.

"I fought with the ministers of Transport and Finance over this road. I agree with the villagers; the road has taken a very long time to complete," said Bhebhe.

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Nicholas Goche has been accused of corruption in his allocation of road maintenance funds. Of the total $14,7 million distributed last year, Goche's province home of Bindura was given $2,6 million, Zvimba $2 million and some areas as little as $10 000.

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