HUNDREDS of commuters on the Hwange-Deka Highway were stranded yesterday after Deka River burst its banks, amid fears that the bridge could have been washed away by heavy rains.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
The travellers from Mashala village under Chief Hwange who spoke to Southern Eye yesterday morning said they failed to cross to Hwange town on Monday night and school children around the area have been affected too.
“We were on a commuter omnibus around 7pm and we failed to cross the bridge because it was flooded. The driver advised us that it was too dangerous to cross. All the cars had to turn back. Years back, a driver and his two minor passengers were swept away trying to cross the bridge,” Limukani Sibanda said.
Another added: “School children and some local teachers failed to go to school because they use the same bridge. We appeal to the ministry to handle the matter with urgency because the same road is used by tourists going to Musuna resort and they had to use Kamativi or Binga Road which is quite far. We (villagers) have to remain put until the water subsides.”
Hwange district administrator Simon Muleya said he had visited the scene.
“No-one should attempt to cross for now until we address the situation. It is very dangerous and the current is strong and violent so the travellers surrounding Deka, Mashala and Makhwa villages, among other areas should use Jambezi Road, but it is far.”
Local government spokesperson Joseph Makhokhobe said they were working on addressing the issue.