Zanu PF chef Chinamasa comes face to face with country’s poor road network; narrates how he was forced to abandon car, finish journey on foot

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By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent

ZANU PF Secretary for Finance Patrick Chinamasa was recently brought face-to-face with ordinary Zimbabweans’ realities when he was forced to abandon his vehicle to finish a trip on foot after encountering impassable roads in rural Nyanga, Manicaland province.

The former Finance Minister was visiting family to pay his condolences following the death of his niece, as part of traditional rites.

His niece, Paurina Saguru succumbed to asthma “months ago”.

Sharing the ordeal on Twitter, Chinamasa who was accompanied by his wife on the trip, in their high-end 4×4 vehicle said they were forced to use a swinging, wooden bridge overlooking a valley so as to access the home which from that point is 5km away.

His wife was to later beg for an alternative route as she could not bear using the makeshift bridge a second time.

The alternative they later agreed on added 2km to their trek back.

On their way, Chinamasa revealed that they had seen a washed away bridge which fell victim to heavy rains ‘seasons’ ago.

His narration, which exposes a general lack of development in rural areas seemingly exposed the ruling Zanu PF party and ends with Chinamasa declaring that he will say things as he sees and hears them.

“The first hurdle was to cross Morozi river a tributary of Kaerezi/Gaerezi river. We needed to brace ourselves (especially in the case of my wife who cannot manage heights) to walk on the dancing/swinging footbridge (Mugedhegedhe – derived from the swinging motion),” said Chinamasa, who was in government for two decades.

“Thankfully we made the crossing but while we did we could not help but marvel at school children who crossed the footbridge running without much bother.

“My wife begged for an alternative route back to our car. She did not think she could manage crossing Morozi through the Mugedhegedhe.

“They proposed an alternative route further upstream provided we were prepared to take off our shoes and wade across the river.

“We accepted this challenge except that it added a further 2km to our return trip to our base. As we waded across the river we discovered that it had been the site of a new footbridge which had unfortunately been swept away by a torrent of flood waters some seasons back leaving the community at the mercy of the old dancing swinging Mugedhegedhe.

Poor investment in the country’s road network has left them in a deplorable state.

They were in 2021 declared a national crisis by government, followed by introduction of an Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).

The ERRP has spearheaded construction of the Harare – Beit Bridge highway.

Added Chinamasa: “Those who have eyes let them “eye” and those who have ears let them “ear”. Nokuti hatigoni kurega kutaura zvatakaona nezvotakanzwa (We cannot keep quiet about what we witnessed and what we were told about).