Travelling & touring: Are potholes here to stay?

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Some countries including the U.S. has advised its citizens from travelling to Ukraine while embassy relatives and non-essential staff have also been told to leave the country as various precautionary measures gather momentum.

With Burzil Dube

RECENT happenings around the world especially in Eastern Europe region point to deadlier war of words between Russia and the United States of America as these two world super powers continue to size each other over the former’s threat to invade neighbouring Ukraine.

While this may seem to be happening thousands of miles away from our motherland, such issues could have some form of impact to other countries and it is imperative to keep tabs on such critical developments.

Ukraine which continues to show interest of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) much to the chagrin of Russia which still considers the country part of its province as they are both products of the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

NATO is a military organisation composed of 30 European countries established  in 1949 for the purpose of collective security among its members.

In a show of strength, Russia is reported to have mobilized more than 100 000  troops and are stationed at the Ukraine border in what is feared could be an imminent invasion whose ripple effects is everyone’s guess.

The EU has also sent military hardware meant to bolster Ukaraine’s preparedness on confrontation with its purpoted bitter enemy that is bent on deterring it from joining the world’s strongest military alliance while a war of words from other NATO member countries is now a regular phenomenon.

Some countries including the U.S. has advised its citizens from travelling to Ukraine while embassy relatives and non-essential staff have also been told to leave the country as various precautionary measures gather momentum.

Foreign tourists have have also been warned of similar consequences as threats of an all out war continue to grow tauter and tauter with diplomatic maneuvers being being ramped up on trying to reach some consensus with a lasting political situation.

And at the time of writing this piece, there was not a single iota of abatement and Yours Truly has a disposition of feeling scared over such developments.

Is it reincarnation of The Cuban Missile Crises of October 1962 where the world was staring a near commencement of Third World War?

Anyway, this is not the gist of this week’s article but an overview on how some parts of the world are in a state of brinkmanship  as this will certainly have a direct impact within the travel and touring business.

The recent incessant rains have been a boon to all and sundry as well as some sectors of the country’s economy and Yours Truly is keeping his legendary fingers crossed anticipating a bumper harvest from tilled fields.

However, the rains have also been a bane to other  societal economic spheres, especially those within travelling and touring world as far as road rehabilitation programmes are concerned.

There is a recent article which appeared in last week’s edition of The Standard where Bulawayo City Council was chastised over poor workmanship over its recent rehabilitated roads and such chastisement brought to fore lingering questions over  tendering processes as well as procedures.

Yours Truly also recently highlighted the state of highways in the country’s second largest city major whose redemption(of roads) is a cause for concern to both motorists and pedestrians as potholes have

re-emerged at alarming proportions much to the chagrin of the travelling public.

Thére are allegations that some contracted organisations are in the habit of using substandard material contrary to what would have been stated in  tender documentation. The same company that would have done the shoddy work would be re-engaged to do the same particular job at another cost.

However, such issues are  not only concentrated to the City of Kings but to other local authorities who have also been found wanting making a mockery  to the government’s initiated Road Rehabilitation Programme which seeks to alleviate road feasibility challenges.

Yours Truly’s mind boggles on embarrassment caused by proliferation of potholes and some of them having metamorphosised to craters that have been turned into mini tourist attraction objects.

Kudos to local authorities such as Victoria Falls over its constant

maintainance of roads leading to the town’s  various tourist attraction places and it would be ideal if such a trend is also emulated by other prime resort centres.

Hwange is a getaway centre to and from Victoria Falls and your guess is good as mine.

Last time Yours Truly raised the status of Victoria Falls-Bulawayo Road with Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, who promised to liaise with his colleagues in Cabinet and true to his word the road is now to its former glory.

Meanwhile, are we ‘pretty’ certain that the country’s oldest baobab tree is situated in Victoria Falls?

Yours Truly vehemently begs to differ.

Till we meet again in the next column.

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