Hard times for Silobela villagers as transporters triple fares due to bad roads, MP pleads with local mines to assist in rehabilitation 

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By Staff Reporter

COMMUTER operators in Silobela have tripled transport fares as a result of the rural area’s poor road network, adding to the woes of already struggling villagers.

The area, whose road rehabilitation plan has been on the cards since 1980, has seen little to no progress.

Silobela legislator, Mthokozisi Mpofu, said mining companies in the area were supposed to play a part in the rehabilitation and construction of some of these roads as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“Poor roads in Silobela have seen prices of goods and services being hiked. Commuter operators have doubled and at times, tripled fares,” said Mpofu.

“A distance which is normally charged US$2 is now being charged at US$7 while villagers are now being asked to pay US$8 for a journey that would usually cost US$3, which is making their lives difficult.

“The road rehabilitation programme has been on the cards since the 1980s but nothing much has been done. We have some mining activities taking place here with big mines such as Kuvimba Mining House, but they are not doing much in terms of giving back to the community.

“They must assist in road rehabilitation and water and sanitation as a way of giving back.”

There are five mines in Silobela constituency; Peace, Malygreen, Mboks, Bravo and Jena mine, run by business tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei’s Kuvimba House.

Added Mpofu: “I am very much disturbed about what the local miners in Silobela are doing. They are only mining, leaving potholes and pits without giving anything back to the community.”

Meanwhile Gokwe Town Council has completed rehabilitation of a 1,1 km stretch of tarred road in its central business district (CBD).

Town Secretary, Alexander Nyandoro, confirmed the development, which was funded through the emergency road rehabilitation programme (ERRP 2) to the tune of US$560 607.78.