ZIMBABWE’s road rehabilitation programme is 20 years behind, a senior government official said yesterday in Bulawayo.
“It’s no secret that we have a 20-year gap in the maintenance of road infrastructure, not 43 years. As a country we are confronted with a huge task of attending to our road infrastructure to ensure that it meets regional and international standards and maintain it at that,” Transport ministry permanent secretary, Thedius Chinyanga told a Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) workshop.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country’s roads a state of disaster in February 2021.
This was followed up with the launch of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) with a target to rehabilitate 10 000 kilometres of the road network countrywide.
“Whilst Zinara is disbursing funds for road rehabilitation and maintenance, one thing that we all need to admit is that the funds being collected by Zinara from all its revenue streams are not enough to cover the backlog that we now have in terms of road maintenance,” Chinyanga said.
“The situation is further compounded by the illegal and crippling sanctions imposed on our country by western countries. Confronted by this undeniable reality, we need to adopt a business “unusual” approach and be agile enough, given that some of our roads now require complete reconstruction.”
He said local authorities were failing to effectively utilise their road rehabilitation funds disbursed by Zinara.
“Let me hasten to say that I am worried by reports that some road authorities are failing to acquit funds disbursed to them on time. This is affecting timeous implementation of road works and that is a disservice to the people that we are supposed to serve,” he said.
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“Furthermore, I am advised that some road authorities are undertaking works that are outside their approved allocations and over-committing to contractors. Again, this is unacceptable and a misnomer we should desist from henceforth.”