BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza has encouraged motorists to undergo defensive driving courses, to reduce fatal accidents on the country’s roads.
Speaking on the sidelines of a road networks tour in Mashonaland East and Masvingo on Friday, Matiza said the current statistics of road accidents is worrying and calls for motorists to obtain Defensive Driving Certificates (DDCs).
“Road carnage is high in our country and because of this all motorists are encouraged to obtain DDCs as we move to tame the road jungle. Those who operate public vehicles should be on the forefront. However, we want all motorists to take defensive driving courses. We will see how, as government, we can make this compulsory. For now we are urging road users to think about DDCs,” he said.
According to the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ), despite the poor state of the roads, human error constitutes 90% of road accidents in Zimbabwe, with those without DDCs topping the list.
A total 1 986 people died last year due to road accidents compared to 1 828 who perished in 2017.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has called on all road authorities to exhaust funds allocated to them.
Zinara board chairperson, Michael Madanha said they have moved a gear up to curb corruption and leakages in the organisation.
Last year, government took exception to Chikomba Rural District Council’s laissez faire attitude towards road construction and maintenance after residents had visited the
Transport ministry offices complaining that council officials were selling fuel coupons meant for road rehabilitation on the black market.
According to Zinara, Chikomba was allocated $418 775, but only $190 146 was used. Another worst performer in Mashonaland East province was Goromonzi.
Zinara has released $240m for road construction and maintenance to be disbursed to local authorities. This year’s allocation has increased by more than 40%, compared to last year, when only $188m was released.