Mberengwa villagers want bridge rehab speeded up

Mwenezi River bridge

MBERENGWA villagers have complained over delays in the completion of Mwenezi River bridge by the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA).

Villagers from ward 34 under Chief Chizungu said the project had taken longer than expected, adding that they now fear that the construction material for the bridge may be washed away in the current rainy season.

“There are fears that if this project is not completed on time, all the efforts made will be wasted, considering that it’s now rainy season and the rivers will flood and wash away everything,” a villager said.

The villagers said motorists got stuck at the bridge on a daily basis.

“The situation has brought a lot of challenges to the residents of this area since this bridge is serving the local people, and is giving them access to schools, hospitals and other places,” another villager said.

Human rights watchdog, Coalition for Citizens Advocates (Coca)secretary-general Wilbert Ndiweni yesterday said their members in Mberengwa had raised an alert on the situation, asking the civil society groups to lobby for completion of the bridge to enable free movement of the villagers.

“As Coca, we call upon the local authority to explain to the residents what has caused delays to this pertinent project. This bridge is in ward 34 under Chief Chizungu," Ndiweni said.

Ward 34 councillor John Tshuma on Wednesday said the bridge was nearing completion.

“RIDA is making final touches.  The claims that people and vehicles are failing to pass through are not true. The timeframe taken for the project to be completed is determined by its size. That is a big project, and it has to take time to be completed. The construction of the bridge started in 2021 and as we speak, work is progressing well. As we speak people and cars are now able to pass through and final touches are being made on the project. As a community, we are happy about all the work that has been done,” he said.

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