Yipeee! traffic lights along Kirkman Road but…


I WAS so delighted yesterday as I was driving past Kirkman Road and Harare Drive intersection when I noticed that a set of brand spanking new traffic lights had been installed at this junction.

This is one intersection that has caused traffic delays, especially during peak hours and this is also where numerous accidents have taken place at night because it is located at a very dark location.

Vehicles coming from Harare Drive have often gone past this intersection landing in the ditch across the road because it is difficult to tell in the dark whether or not the road has a dead end.

I wish to applaud authorities who came up with this decision which was long overdue. However, I feel police presence should now be a regular feature, especially at night because this is one juncture where smash, grab and dash thieves operate from.

It is no secret that the entire stretch of this road, from Sherwood Drive up to the Raynham Farm area is a black spot where petty theft, armed robberies and rape cases often take place.

Many of these cases go unreported, but one gets to hear about these stories in hushed tones in kombis that ply this road.

One woman was raped when her husband left her along this road at around 7pm as he went to get help to fix their vehicle just after the Westlea Suburb turn off.

Four men emerged from the bush around this area and took turns to rape her after they had dragged her into a maize field.

All this was happening as cars drove past this broken down vehicle. The woman yelled for help that never came because of the deafening sound of fast moving vehicles.

Not a single day passes without seeing glass splinters along T-junctions along this road, an indication that it is a spot where criminal activity is rampant around this part of Harare.

The area is ironically located near a Zimbabwe Republic Police Dog Section which could be of great help in as far as eradication of some of these criminal activities are concerned.

Another T-junction that needs to be taken care off is the one that leads to Maranatha Primary and High schools where traffic congestion creates serious traffic delays.

There is also need for either traffic lights or a roundabout to smoothen flow of traffic along this area.

There is no doubt that the number of cars cruising along all its roads has more than trebled, making it very difficult to manoeuvre the way into the central business district.

Other roads that need similar attention include High Glen Road which is a black spot for accidents, especially at the intersection that leads to Budiriro.

The scenario is similar to the Harare Drive and Kirkman Road intersection where there is dire need for traffic lights.

High Glen Road has a very good tarmac, but it has some dangerous spots where motorists have also been hijacked, pedestrians mugged and killed.

There are so many other black spots in Harare which need attention and it is imperative for all stakeholders to come up with one voice, take action and save residents and visitors the pain of being mugged or hijacked.

There are some intersections in Harare where motorists will go past even when the traffic lights show amber or red for them to stop because of fear of being attacked by either thieves or carjackers.

One such intersection is the one at Bishop Gaul and Josiah Tongogara where cars proceed when it is dark, before signals tell them to do so.

Women are generally targeted at these intersections because there is a general belief that they easily get frightened and lose control of their vehicles, making it easier for robbers to pounce on them.

I must say there is a lot that is happening along Kirkman Road where a shopping complex is set for construction opposite the new traffic signals.

The new shopping centre, which will house a huge Spar supermarket, will definitely add life and light to this dim area and hopefully council may just decide to light up the entire road from Sherwood Drive to Raynham Farm area.

Traffic lights have been installed at the Madokero Estates, a new housing complex near the Friend Animal Foundation, just before Sanganayi Inn along Kirkman Road.

But some motorists have had cars smashed at this intersection at night and hence the need for police presence at this juncture.

These traffic lights have controlled kombis that ply this route on the way to Dzivaresekwa Extension, Westgate Area D and Tynwald North, that used to cruise this road causing accidents.

Many thanks go to developers of Madokero Estates who have brightened this area with street lights, giving a unique outlook to this rather dull and dark residential area.

There is actually more development taking place there as well in terms of telephone lines that are being laid by TelOne, a development that will bring Wi-Fi and land lines into most homes in the area.

For the first time since I moved into this area in 1999, I have noted these developments in the past two years, a situation that may decongest the CBD where people flock to for Internet services and shopping.

But the only sad thing, however, is that no new government schools are being built and all we see a private schools sprouting in the area, which may not be affordable to the general Zimbabwean worker.

However, a lot still has to be done in as far as road maintenance is concerned as most areas off Kirkman Road, like Tynwald South, Tynwald North, Westlea, plots area, Dzivarasekwa and other nearby spaces, need a total revamp.

There are absolutely no good roads to talk about in these areas.