Letters to the Editor:Harare-Mutare Highway urgently needs widening

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Letters to the editor

MUTARE Highway passes through the dormitory town of Ruwa. When the highway was designed, it was meant to also serve Ruwa, Mabvuku-Tafara, Msasa, Greendale, Hillside and Eastlea.

Ruwa has since grown to have among others suburbs Zimre Park, Timire, Damofalls, Riverside, Chipukutu, Barrowshed, USAid, Solomio, Mabvazuva and Windsor.

The expansion of Mabvuku to Caledonia and Eastview, with an estimated population of 20 000, has exerted pressure on the road. This leads to massive congestion during the rush morning hours.

There is dense traffic from George in Ruwa to the Msasa/Harare Drive roundabout leading into town every morning, inciting reckless driving by some motorists.

On the other hand, traffic from Harare has the luxury of two lanes which it does not need since one lane suffices.

As a result, pirate taxis drive against oncoming traffic.

ZRP tries to stop these malcontents but it does not help the situation.

We take two hours to cover the 20km stretch from Ruwa to Harare CBD. This is unacceptable and shows lack of creativity.

As a short-term solution, I suggest that ZRP traffic personnel marshal motorists to a third lane using one of the outbound lanes.

In other words, traffic from Harare to Mutare between 6am and 8am could use one lane from the Harare Drive roundabout up to Zimre Park turn-off.

I call this the “deluge hour”.

ZRP traffic then marshals traffic to three lanes to Harare ie, the two official lanes to Harare and one lane on the other (Harare-Mutare) side.

In the long-term, the road needs widening up to the roundabout with at least four lanes going city wards.

Also, I propose that the roundabout be decommissioned and replaced with a controlled intersection.

That roundabout is a culprit as well.

But my point is that if we have hypothetically three temporary morning lanes up to that point, ZRP traffic can simply manage vehicles on Harare Drive from Mandara/Greendale so as to give citybound traffic priority.

As it stands, cars have to give way to traffic coming from the right at the roundabout, which causes a “pile up” up to Mabvuku turn-off.

I kindly appeal to relevant road authorities to save us from this peak hour driving agony. –Rejoice Ngwenya Ruwa resident

Govt must take care of youths

ECONOMIC Justice for Women Project (EJWP) joins Zimbabwe in commemorating the National Youth Day, a day meant to celebrate the efforts made by young people in building the country.

The theme for this year is.

The youth in Zimbabwe constitutes 67,7% of its 15 million people with the majority being young women.

The contemporary status of young women in Zimbabwe reflects the increased socio-economic inequality gap.

The minimal focus on corruption and partisan abuse of power in public resource distribution and use has impacted social service delivery which reflects on the socio-economic status of the young people.

Researches indicate that the prevalence of drug abuse is at 57% among young people in Zimbabwe.

Young women are more vulnerable as reflected in the increase in gender-based violence, rape, teenage pregnancies, suicides and mental health issues.

To this end, EJWP calls upon the government through the respective ministries to consider the following recommendations:

Women Affairs ministry — To cement advocacy efforts by the women’s movement to enhance socio-economic security for young women.

Youth ministry To amplify and implement calls for social and economic support from young people in Zimbabwe, particularly vulnerable groups.

Health and Child Care ministry — Needs to strengthen psycho-social support by establishing friendly institutions/environments and support networks at community level.

Home Affairs ministry — To strengthen investigative and punitive measures to ensure an end to drug paddling across Zimbabwe, ensuring justice for all survivors.

Finance ministry — To adequately finance the ministry with the mandate to give socio-economic support to young women to end drug trafficking.

Primary and Secondary Education ministry — To facilitate young women access to education and capacitate them on drug abuse and its consequences.

Small and Medium Enterprises ministry — To increase economic opportunities for young people, facilitate their growth and independence, reducing their vulnerabilities to desperation and anxiety that can trigger the abuse of drugs and substances.

Civil society organisations — To strategically collaborate among ourselves, with relevant ministries, parliamentarians and the broader citizenry to curb drug abuse among young people, particularly young women. -EJWP

Call for good leadership in upcoming by-elections

ZIMBABWE Council of Churches (ZCC) through the Gweru Local Ecumenical Fellowship (LEFs) compiled a document titled, the Gweru Ecumenical Election Covenant (GEEC) in an effort to set the standard of expected leadership in the by-elections to be held in March 2022.

ZCC has always participated in influencing policy-making processes and decision-making in government, hence with the GEEC document, the church leaders are taking part in prompting political leaders to come up with policies that are in line with constitutional provisions.

Gweru LEFs urged aspiring candidates to work towards improving people’s standards of living noting, that: “We need leaders who can liberate our people from poverty, joblessness, poor service delivery and an ever-falling standard of living.’’

Speaking at the same event some of the faith leaders’ denounced political violence and vote buying, saying: “We implore political parties to shun vote buying. Let the people judge you by your vision and ideas, we condemn all forms of violence including intimidation”.

The church leaders also added that they were united by a common desire to contribute and support constructive initiatives to ensure the realisation of free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible elections in Mkoba constituency, Gweru Urban ward 2 and in Zimbabwe in general.

To add, in an effort to affirm the right to vote and to encourage citizens to participate in electoral processes, ZCC through its member churches and structures launched the #IPrayIVote campaign.

The campaign is hinged on four pillars, which are electorate mobilisation, agenda setting, election observation and post-election envisioning.

The campaign has been playing a pivotal role in educating the citizens, informing and giving updates on contesting candidates using social media platforms, hence GEEC is a product of the agenda setting pillar.

The IPrayIVote campaign has been running under the guidelines of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which stipulates how voter education should be conducted.

In its covenant, the church called on stakeholders such as the security sector, Zec, the media and Judiciary to faithfully, independently and diligently execute their constitutional mandates in a non-partisan and professional manner. –Zimbabwe Council of Churches