ENDLESS construction work on a stretch of the road leading from the Beitbridge Border Post into the country has become nightmarish for motorists with some getting lost for hundreds of kilometres due to vandalised signage.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Besides, the construction company doing civils called Release Power Investments contracted by government has not erected any danger warning signs or barricades resulting in some accidents caused by construction work.
The direction sign of the Harare Road from which roads to cities like Masvingo, Mutare, Chiredzi, Chipinge and other central Zimbabwean town radiate, is concealed after it was removed during construction which has spanned 12 years.
Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joram Gumbo last week said it was an unfortunate development but the contractor had not been authorised to remove the sign.
“I am not aware of that and it’s unfortunate if motorists are getting lost, but speak to engineer (Theodious) Chinyanga who will give you our position,” Gumbo said.
Chinyanga in turn said the contractor Release Power Investments had not been authorised to remove signage.
“I am communicating with our engineers on the ground to correct that immediately. We were not aware of that,” he said.
Scores of motorists missed the Harare turn-off only to realise they were lost when the reached Gwanda.
Some Mutare City Council officials who left Beitbridge in the evening after a meeting only realised they were lost when they reached Mbalabala some 60km from Bulawayo.
Some people who had come to collect vehicles at Beit ridge realised they were lost when they arrived in Gwanda.
“I did not see the sign pointing towards the Harare Road and drove on until I got to West Nicholson and it was too late to turn back, but it’s painful,” said a Harare man.
Construction of the road’s five kilometre stretch started in 2006 and has not been completed, riling Beitbridge residents and motorists.
“There have been many accidents caused by this unfinished road and there are no danger warning signs erected,” said Beitbridge resident Albert Dick.
At least four fatal accidents, including one in which two bus drivers perished in 2015, have occurred on that stretch which is within Beitbridge municipal area.
Beitbridge town secretary Loud Ramagkapola said the council was concerned about the slow road construction.
“We are concerned because it has taken long and naturally it affects the appearance of our town and slows down development,” he said.
The Beitbridge Town Council has refused to pay what it called a below standard job by Hawkflight Construction hired to reseal a road in Dulivhadzimo high-density suburb.
Ramagkapola told residents at an end of year party hosted by the local authority that the work will not be paid for until corrected.
Hawkflight Construction used quarry dust to reseal a road but even before they reached the other end the dust had been blown away, leaving liquid bitumen uncovered resulting in pedestrians failing to use the roads.
“We will not pay a cent for such poor jobs,” Ramagkapola said.