Tragedy looms at Chilonga Bridge

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TEN years after government promised to construct a new bridge across Runde River, in Chilonga, south of Chiredzi at a cost of $Z200 billion, the project remains a pipe dream, and lives continue to be lost each year due to drowning.

BY Garikai Mafirakureva

The bridge was washed away by Cyclone Eline in 2006.

As the rainy season nears another disaster appears to be stalking the Shangani people who live across the river. People drown every year and cars are swept away as they try to cross the flooded river. Last year a motorist was swept away while trying to cross the flooded bridge, bringing to 10 the number of people who have died at the site, six of them motorists and four others villagers using dugout canoes.

Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Joram Gumbo last week said plans were afoot to reconstruct the Bridge, adding that the project had been temporarily shelved due to the harsh economic environment.

“We have plans to build the new bridge and we are currently mobilising resources. As you know the country is facing economic hardships because of sanctions imposed on us by the West. I can’t give full details now but they will be readily available soon,” he said.

“It’s one of the projects we are going to give first priority, like we did on the dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway which is going to create over 300 000 jobs. Although it’s a small project, it is going to also create a number of jobs for the locals,” he said.

Last year, the Civil Protection Unit committee asked the police to mount roadblocks on both sides of the river to deter motorists from crossing the flooded river, but police are yet to implement the directive.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Huge sums of state funds are diverted to rallies instead of critical service delivery.These rallies are used as platforms for verbally terrorising both government and senior bureaucratic state officials perceived to be seeking to overthrow Mugabe and not respecting the first lady.Totalitarian way of conducting state business has reached alarming proportions to say the least.

    • Let’s kick these people out next year .With these people in government we will never go anywhere.They can’t admit if they fail ,sanctions have nothing to do with their incompetence.God help Zimbabwe.

      • Comment…nemiwo va Gumbo.munhu watinoti akafunda you still believe in lame excuses of. sanctions by the west. You mean sanctions looted diamonds

    • So sad how a respected paper as this one can mix up years like this…Cyclone Eline was in Year 2000! So too facts are wrong in the article…2006 and 10 years of promise to reconstruct the bridge…unless if the bridge was not destroyed by Eline…kkkkkk. Do better guys.

      • true.even the figure is wrong because the minister says its a small job and a small job cannot be worth $200billion and one wondres why it si written as Z$200billion (why zimdollars),NEWSDAY be serious.

  2. G40 loots $450 million Zimdef funds to put fuel in helicopters so that Grace traverses the length and breadth of Zimbabwe to shout at people but you fail to construct a bridge that requires maybe US$250,000.00 across Runde river for the people of Masvingo. Yet your Mboko claims there is no marginalization of communities when Zvimba road is resurfaced every 6 months as well as any other road that the despot wants to use. How I just wish Munangagwa had the guts to form his own political party christened Nehanda Zimbabwe or Munhumutapa, then rope in young people who would gain guidance of mass politicization from several war veterans who are itching to dump Mugabe. All provinces will embrace Munangagwa because Mugabe anongodiwa nembavha nemhuri yake chete chete. Pasi neDictator.

  3. Comment…gumbo u r truly an ignorant which sanctions r u talking about. where is the money u r collecting from tollgates,get money from zinara and construct the bridge nxaa shit mhanhi mbavha

  4. the Civil Protection Unit committee asked the police to mount roadblocks on both sides of the river to deter motorists from crossing the flooded river, but police are yet to implement the directive.Reasons why they are yet to implement is simply; hazvina cheuviri pazviri.

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