HomeLocal NewsFloods cut-off Gwanda villagers

Floods cut-off Gwanda villagers

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AT least three villages were cut off from Matabeleland South’s main centre, Gwanda, following the heavy rains that flooded the Mtshabezi River bridge, which links villagers to the town.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/LINDA CHINOBVA

Mtshabezi River bridge was impassable after the river burst its banks cutting off traffic
Mtshabezi River bridge was impassable after the river burst its banks cutting off traffic

Gwanda residents have since called on authorities, including their legislator Edison Gumbo (Zanu PF), to find a lasting solution.

Areas that include Blanket Mine, Vumbachikwe Mine, Makwe and Kezi were virtually cut-off from their only gateway to the world.

Gwanda Residents’ Association (GRA) secretary-general, Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo said it was regrettable the government had failed to construct a new bridge despite several pleas from the community.

“It has become a routine exercise that when people want to be elected in Parliament they use the construction of a bridge as an election promise, but forget about it once they get there,” he said.

The Bulawayo-Beitbridge highway was also impassable for over 10 hours on Tuesday after Mbembesi River, near West Nicholson, burst its banks cutting off traffic.

No comment could be obtained from Gumbo yesterday.

Fuzwayo said this is “an emotive issue” for the community, with some even planning “drastic action” to force Parliament and the government to act.

“You will remember very well how emotional the residents always get when the issue of this bridge is raised in these consultations. In 2015 a resident even threatened to blow up the existing bridge to raise awareness to the people’s problems,” he said.

Fuzwayo called on authorities to re-direct proceeds from the Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust towards the construction of the bridge.

Meanwhile, in Nkayi the heavy rains that have pounded most parts of the country left a trail of destruction, wiping out hopes of good harvests. According to villagers, most are now expecting very low yields despite the rains that initially had raised hopes for a bumper harvest.

“Most of our crops have been destroyed and we are facing another desperate situation,” Nobuhle Ncube said.

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