Road repair programme under spotlight, govt accused of sidelining Matebeleland

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By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT’S much touted Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) has been brought under the spotlight amid reports that some road networks are still lagging behind two years after the project started.

Millions of dollars was released towards the repair programme last year with officials promising that more funds would be availed.

The roads in Zimbabwe were declared a state of disaster in February 2021.

Despite government taking pride ‘in huge progress so far,’ critics maintain there is nothing to boast about.

Former Cabinet Minister David Coltart has lashed out at the government for neglecting refurbishment of roads in Matebeleland.

“The Bulawayo to Beitbridge road isn’t much better. In fact the so called 2nd Republic hasn’t fixed a single major road in the whole of Matebeleland in the six years of its misrule of Zimbabwe,”  wrote David Coltart on Twitter.

Government embarked on an ambitious project to refurbish roads across the country with parastatal Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) spearheading refurbishment.

ERRP was divided into two phases which targeted major roads and urban areas that were deemed neglected by City councils.

According to government’s economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy (NDS) road networks and infrastructure development are key to the development of the economy.

However the project has been flagged for its snail pace and neglecting other areas for refurbishment.

Victoria Falls – Bulawayo road which is major route for haulage trucks and gateway to Zambia is one of road networks that have become a thorn for motorists.

The road is littered by potholes and sinkholes which have become difficult to navigate for drivers.

This is synonymous with a lot of roads across the country.

Current heavy rains have further compounded the situation.

Generally, several major roads in Zimbabwe have become a death trap, and have reportedly contributed to many avoidable accidents.

Officials statistics show that on average five people die everyday in Zimbabwe because of road accidents.