Govt To ‘Demolish, Repave’ Byo-Vic Falls Highway – Chiwenga

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

VICE PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga says the government is very concerned about the deplorable state of the Bulawayo–Victoria Falls highway, which is the gateway to the country’s prime tourism destination – the Victoria Falls.

The highway also connects Zimbabwe to neighbouring SADC countries such as Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, the DRC, Tanzania and Angola.

However, most parts of the road network are littered with deadly potholes as a result of old age, non-repairs and the recent heavy rains which most parts of the country experienced.

Several fatal accidents have occurred along the road as motorists try to avoid the potholes and wild animals.

Some haulage trucks carrying heavy loads like coal, copper and machinery destined for other SADC countries have also been accused of damaging the highway.

However, addressing journalists on the sidelines of the commissioning of Nachulwe NetOne base station in Binga Saturday, VP Chiwenga admitted the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway had seen better days.

“Government is aware of the bad state of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road. In fact, the entire road needs to be completely destroyed and redone,” Chiwenga, who flew to Binga aboard a presidential Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter, said.

Last week, two people, one of them a driver who was trying to avoid a pothole, died on the spot while 14 others sustained varying degrees of injuries after two vehicles collided head-on in Insuza along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.

Last month, a 16-year-old boy, Simelebona Bongani Ndebele of Gumede Village in Lupane was crushed to death on the same highway near Cross Jotsholo when a haulage truck ran over him while he was filling potholes on the road.

The government has in recent months been accusing local councils run by the opposition of incompetence and engaging in corruption at the expense of service delivery including failure to repair roads, which are also in a bad state across all municipalities and rural authorities.