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Pothole City: Harare Roads Declared State of Disaster

Government has declared Harare roads a state of disaster and has moved in to assist the city to rehabilitate the “untrafficable’’ roads som...

Government has declared Harare roads a state of disaster and has moved in to assist the city to rehabilitate the “untrafficable’’ roads some of which are contributing to major accidents.

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development yesterday deployed a team to start work on Seke Road, while Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said Government would engage companies to carry out road maintenance around the city.

Incessant rains have worsened the condition of most roads.

Minister Kasukuwere and Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo, Acting mayor Clr Herbert Gomba, town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube and other city officials toured some of the potholed roads in Harare and inspected workers patching potholes along Seke Road.
Salaries of City Officials as Roads Deteriorate 

Minister Kasukuwere said Government would use its existing contractors and engage other companies to speed up repairs of Harare roads. “We will certainly write to the Office of President and Cabinet and waiver some of the requirements because we have a state of disaster,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

“We have not had sufficient funding in the City of Harare to look after the road infrastructure. We actually have a state of disaster. We have to mobilise as much resources as possible and I am happy the Minister of Transport has come to give us that support for us to be able to repair and also maintain most of our roads.”

He said allowing the current state of roads to continue as it is for the next two to three weeks, the city might not have any road to talk about in Harare. “As it stands, we are now even affecting the foundation of the roads because the tar is gone,” he said.

“I think the point the Minister (Minister Gumbo) has made is that Harare is not the Vatican. Harare is not on its own. We are together City of Harare and Government because Harare is the capital city.”

Minister Kasukuwere said Harare could not be left to a few individuals as more than 60 percent of the 5 000 kilometres of the road was impassable. He said the rains had hit the city hard compared to many other years because of lack of general maintenance that is required.

“The City of Harare cannot cope. Clearly what you can see is that they have failed on their own to look after this situation hence we had to ask the parent Ministry of Transport to assist us in maintaining the roads,” he said.

He said he was happy that Minister Gumbo had already deployed teams from ministry and City of Harare to work together on the project. Minister Gumbo said most of the country’s roads were in a deplorable state and required urgent attention.

“We are here to complement the City of Harare. We know that the funds they get from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) are not enough for them to maintain the roads as it were, so we are here and we promise we are going to do the best we can,” said Minister Gumbo.

“We are also aware that some of the roads belong to us, those ones we call the through roads which pass through City of Harare and we cannot leave that responsibility to the city.

“It is important and critical that we work together with City of Harare and make sure that our people in the capital city find themselves using good roads. Harare is our capital city. We must make it. We can include other service providers to make sure we arrest the situation.”

Minister Gumbo said most of the country’s roads required urgent attention hence he had met all the road authorities around the country. “They are also busy doing that (rehabilitating roads) but as you can see the concentration of people and cars in Harare is far bigger than what you meet outside but already there is a machinery going on throughout the country,” he said.

“We have already asked the Ministry of Finance to allow us to use some of the money we call road access funds to rehabilitate the Harare- Beitbridge -Victoria Falls Road, Beitbridge Chirundu Road and all those other roads you are talking about. Our last meeting was in Bulawayo over the weekend.”

Acting Mayor Gomba said he was happy Government has come to work with council in maintaining and repairing roads. - The Herald

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