TRANSPORT and Infrastructural Development minister Joram Gumbo has blasted Mutare City Council for failing to rehabilitate its urban roads despite receiving $1,8 million for road rehabilitation from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).
BY KENNETH NYANGANI/CLAYTON MASEKESESA
Gumbo read the riot act last week when he met Manicaland provincial stakeholders in Mutare to familiarise with infrastructure problems affecting the province.
“We gave Mutare City Council $1,8 million and they used the money to the dot, I don’t know where they put the money. Maybe they might have used the money to pay for salaries. I am told that there are potholes in the town and residential areas maybe the Mutare mayor needs to explain,” he said.
“I am a Zanu PF member, but the Mutare City does not belong to a party. I am told that the issues affecting the development of Mutare are being politicised. There should be no reason to take Mutare as a city belonging to MDC alone. We are all proud of Mutare. We want Mutare to be well-developed because it is a tourist town.”
In response, town clerk, Joshua Maligwa said he was fairly new at the local authority, but pledged to turn around the city’s fortunes for the benefit of all residents regardless of their political affiliation.
“Unfortunately, there has been a legacy of corruption at the council, as some of these issues were being caused by corruption by the senior employees. You will see some changes in the whole set up and service delivery will be our first priority,” he said.
Chipinge Central legislator, Raymore Machingura called on the government to urgently upgrade Birchenough Bridge.
“We do not know what is actually happening at that bridge. We want to know how this bridge is going to be repaired or there is need to have a complete bridge,” he said.
Gumbo said: “Birchenough Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the country. We need about $35 million to renovate the bridge or $40 million to build another on the side, as the bridge is very narrow. So I would want to pose a question on whether we should renovate or build a new bridge.”
Birchenough Bridge is one the top tourist attractions in the country.