Accident bridge causes anxiety

The collapse of a major bridge on the Musavezi River has cut off the road linking Gweru and Masvingo and locals fear repairs could be a long time coming.

The Zupco bus that was swept away.
The Zupco bus that was swept away.

Four people were killed in February when a Zupco bus was swept away after the road collapsed under flood waters from the river. A visit by The Zimbabwean showed that the bridge was still intact, but huge gullies on either side continue to grow as more rains fall.

Anxious locals said the tarring of the road and construction of a number of bridges in the 1990s had brought the local economy to life. “The road had brought a lot of economic activities to the area because the transport network improved tremendously but now things have gone backwards,” said MacDonald Musaigwa.

Jabulani Chihwehwete queried the level of expertise used in the construction of the road and the bridge.

Locals are now having to use the old low-level bridge.
Locals are now having to use the old low-level bridge.

“The bridge was only completed around 1993 so it’s not that old. The people who constructed it were paid for nothing. Unfortunately I don’t see any signs that reconstruction work can start any time soon. With the old bridge now in use we could be stuck with it for a while,” he said.

Another local who spoke on condition of anonymity urged government to channel funds from the Unki Community Share Ownership Trust to the bridge. “I don’t think the money in the fund has been exhausted. I doubt if government has the money because they can’t even afford to pay their own workers,” he said.

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