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Pothole problems

Sinqobile Tessa
BADLY DAMAGED: A ruined road in the capital (Pic Nick Mangwana on Twitter)

Zim’s crumbling roads falling apart

Zimbabwe’s roads are riddled with potholes and getting behind the steering wheel has become a total nightmare.

Many motorists, including myself, have been left counting the costs of repairing a vehicle due to these crumbling roads.

The situation has been made worse by the recent rains because every downpour means the potholes get bigger and bigger. Many are more like craters than holes!

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If a motorist is not used to a certain road, they can easily plunge into deep potholes which are normally filled with rain water. In some instances cars have literally drowned in these wells, several of which are slap bang in the middle of major roads

For those familiar with the road, they can maneuver and sometimes even look for a better route.

But in instances where it’s the major highway filled with potholes, the motorists have to endure the pain of humps and bumps and spending more hours on the road as the speed is drastically reduced to avoid extensive damage to the vehicle.

One such road that comes to mind is the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway, which despite its importance, has been left to deteriorate with each passing day.

The road leads to major tourist attractions, Hwange National Park and the Victoria Falls and one would expect the powers-that-be to give it attention, but no, they are not bothered.

While potholes can be seen as a regional problem as I have seen jokes from around the continent about this crisis, I want to believe the situation is worse here in Zimbabwe, especially in major urban areas which are run by councilors from the opposition.

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The central government puts the blame on the opposition while the latter says the local government is stifling any efforts to fix the roads for political reasons.

On Tuesday, government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana drew the ire of many when he took to Twitter to blame the Harare City Council for the damaged roads.

“We have a problem with potholes on our roads due to incessant rains in the context of poor drainage systems. For the avoidance of doubt, it is the responsibility of Urban Councils to maintain roads under their respective jurisdictions. They shouldn’t abdicate from it,” he wrote.

This did not go down well with most people who said the blame game must come to an end for the good of the people. It was also pointed out that urban councils, though in the hands of the opposition, are largely controlled by the parent ministry.

“It’s simple boss, US$62 million for Harare roads goes to ZINARA (Zimbabwe National Roads Administration) and is never accounted for every year. If this money comes, we will do the roads, please release it,” tweeted Harare Mayor, Jacob Mafume in response.

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And while they continue pointing fingers at each, the roads continue to worsen, much to the frustration of users.

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