HomeEditorial CommentBad roads: Citizens taken for a ride

Bad roads: Citizens taken for a ride

THE much-hyped road network rehabilitation programme is turning into a joke.

Potholes have returned to litter every square metre of Harare’s roads, only a year into the much talked about Roads Rehabilitation Programme, which has guzzled billions of dollars.

It is a total waste of resources and time, which authorities are too happy to condone by folding hands while shocking levels of bad workmanship are derailing crucial national projects, with funds going under the drain.

Big potholes have returned to haunt motorists across cities.

It is now common to come across fleets of broken-down vehicles resting trapped inside deep potholes. Spares are being ripped off, and passengers are being hurt as cars struggle to navigate through these pools of shame.

Soon, Zimbabweans will end up with only heaps of mangled steel in their car parks.

And they have nowhere to claim for damages caused by the decaying public road network.

In remote regions, both tarred and gravel roads have been damaged by heavy rains, leaving citizens unable to travel, and businesses unable to transport their products to these markets.

This is in spite of the propaganda by government spin doctors, who are trying to paint a picture of an economy that is on track to recovery.

Forty-two years after independence, there are still places in Zimbabwe where citizens can only find transport once a week.

Their plight has been worsened by current maladministration.

Passenger transport operators have pulled off because they can no longer take it, but the implications are too dire to contemplate.

Serious cases requiring urgent attention, including health related, are being delayed, as authorities gloss over the road network calamity.

The truth is, Zimbabweans are paying the price of maladministration.

Zanu PF, in power for 40 years, has ignored the country’s infrastructure. Instead of taking advantage of opportunities presented by such discoveries as diamonds to act on the mess, selfish bigwigs have taken to shorelines of seas to build mansions, using ill-gotten wealth.

It is not only diamonds.

Gold is being smuggled at a frightening scale yearly — some reports place the figure of annual losses at US$1,5 billion.

Yet recent arrests have nailed chefs and their cronies are behind the theft that has become an albatross to recovery.

Shockingly, those netted in the gold, ivory and diamond dragnet still walk Zimbabwe’s streets unhindered because they sit close to the isles of power.

So are directors of companies (many of them controlled by the ruling elite), which have won tenders to rebuild the roads, only to start shortchanging Zimbabweans.

It is chaotic.

It won’t be a long guess to say there are dangerous cartels at play in the road rehabilitation programme.

Why are chefs turning a blind eye to the rot when resources under their stewardship are being salted away? Is it not time that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, if he is serious about rebuilding the economy that Zanu PF has destroyed, takes action before Zimbabwe relapses into far more serious chaos?

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

NewsDay Zimbabwe will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.