By Farai Dauramanzi
City of Harare (CoH) and ZINARA has embarked on a “massive” road rehabilitation program which will mainly involve pothole patching, resealing and application of overlays.
The road rehabilitation program will come as great news to many motorists as Harare’s roads have been in a poor condition for years now making driving on the City’s roads a nightmare for many motorists. However, most roads in the country are also in urgent need of rehabilitation as they have since become ‘potholed’.
Harare’s corporate communications department in a statement that was released at the launch of the road rehabilitation program on 12 January 2015 said that CoH and ZINARA have come up with $4.1 million budget for the emergency road rehabilitation program.
“The City has provided $1.5 million whilst ZINARA (has provided) $2.6 million for the project which is expected to be completed by the 31st of March 2015.The program which has already started is aimed at sprucing up the City’s roads,” read council’s corporate communications division statement.
Contractors are said to have already started work along Harare Drive and Robert Mugabe Way. Some roads which are targeted for rehabilitation include Dieppe, Julius Nyerere Way, Cripps Road, Rotten Row and Prince Edward, Willowvale, Mangwende Drive West and Mazowe Road.
“The roads program also includes the installation of street lights and traffic signals, clearing of the storm water drains, road markings and removal and replacement of damaged street lights and traffic signal poles. Motorists are therefore urged to drive cautiously and observe the road work signs to avoid accidents,” read council’s corporate communications division statement.
Minister of local government Dr Ignatius Chombo who toured Robert Mugabe Way on the first day of work said that he was satisfied with the pothole patching work that was being done by council but urged council to attend to potholes timeously before they become a danger to the motoring public.
“The complaints by motorists that the roads in the capital city have too many potholes and I think the onus is on the City Fathers to make sure that they get resources to make sure that the mending of roads especially potholes is done timeously before the small potholes develop into big potholes which makes traffic in the city a nightmare,” said Dr Chombo.
Dr Chombo also revealed that he was confident that ZINARA through its new board will continue to disburse road maintenance funds to local authorities. Over the past years, Harare has complained of the non-disbursement of funds from road licenses by ZINARA.
“I am happy that the technocrats in the city working in conjunction with ZINARA have teamed up to make sure that all our roads in the CBD area are patched and all potholes are attended to. This is a good response but, it is not enough. We want to make sure that when funds become available all roads are resealed so that rains do not continue to damage our roads,” added Dr Chombo.