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Councils embark on road repair programmes

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CHEGUTU Town Council has embarked on a major project to resurface major roads in the central business district (CBD) in partnership with Bitumen World.

by BLESSED MHLANGA/PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

The project, which will see the local authority resurface 4km of roads after receiving $170 000 from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara), commenced yesterday.

Speaking to NewsDay, Chegutu mayor Leo Gwanzura, said council had realised that there was more value in using the Zinara disbursements to resurface the roads instead of patching potholes since most of the roads had reached the end of their lifespan.

“We realised that patching potholes was not going to get us anywhere and as a result we have started ensuring that every time we get a disbursement from Zinara, we resurface the roads instead of just doing patches that don’t last,” he said.

Chegutu’s costs in the road maintenance are halved because the local authority owns most of the required earthmoving and road-making machinery and equipment.

Town clerk Alex Mandigo said they had partnered with Bitumen World which was providing expertise and some critical equipment needed to complete the road works.

“We have nearly three-quarters of the equipment which is needed and we also cut the costs by procuring the tar and quarry stones directly from the supplier. Our aim is to resurface the entire CBD and ensure that our roads are in good shape,” he said.

Government has pegged the cost of resurfacing a road at $3 million per kilometre. The Ministry of Transport needs close to $2 billion to rehabilitate the Beitbridge-Chirundu road, but Chegutu has, however, managed to resurface 4km with just $170 000.

Meanwhile, Chitungwiza Municipality has embarked on a $500 000 road maintenance programme that includes resurfacing and pothole patching on the main roads in the dormitory town.

Town clerk George Makunde confirmed the development saying they were using their quota from the Zinara and their internal resources.

“The project will see the main roads in the town resurfaced or patched at a total cost of around $500 000. Staff from the department of works is on the ground implementing the project,” Makunde said.

Most of the town’s roads have become unusable and a danger to vehicles after the above normal rainfall that was experienced in Zimbabwe this year.

The government early this year declared all roads as in a state of national disaster and set up an emergency $100 million fund for road repairs and maintenance.

Makunde said all the major roads would be repaired.

“We have started on Tilcor Road that links Chikwanha shopping centre and the industrial area. The team will also move on to Chaminuka and Hombarume roads that are the main traffic arteries in the town,” he added.

Other roads that will be maintained in the project include the one linking Makoni shopping centre to Chibuku Stadium and the road starting from the Wilmur Surface oil refinery plant to Seke.

Last month Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere suspended all the 25 councillors in Chitungwiza on allegations of corruption and poor service delivery.

The councillors’ fate is still to be decided as the minister is yet to set up a tribunal to hear the matter in terms of the Constitution.

Chitungwiza is the third largest urban local authority in population after Harare and Bulawayo.

The Municipality has in the past failed to consistently supply water to residents or collect refuse on a regular basis, leaving Chitungwiza a potential ticking health bomb.

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