By Sydney Mubaiwa
Masvingo — Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said Government is working to transform the country’s road network to world class standards to achieve the vision of making the country an upper middle income economy by 2030.
Government has this year allocated money through Treasury and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) towards road maintenance works.
Speaking during a meeting in Masvingo over the weekend, Minister Matiza said he was conducting a nationwide tour to see how best to improve the country’s road network and other infrastructure, as well as monitor re- construction roads and bridges that were damaged by Cyclone Idai.
“The Government has started upgrading roads to meet standards of Vision 2030,” he said. “We are aiming to see a reduction in traffic accidents along our roads.”
Minister Matiza said his Ministry was working on strategies to improve the railway system.
He urged road authorities to account for disbursed funds on time to continue accessing more funds.
Minister Matiza said road authorities were supposed to employ experts in their engineering departments to ensure quality work.
He said it came to his attention that previously some local authorities were diverting funds for road rehabilitation and construction towards purchasing vehicles.
“We have come into realisation that some of our local authorities misused the funds meant for road rehabilitation,” said Minister Matiza. “We want that to stop.”
In his presentation on the state of roads in the province, provincial roads engineer Peter Mukome, said the province had been allocated money by Government under the Road Development Programme especially to re-construct cyclone damaged infrastructure.
He said construction works were in progress along Chikuku-Mandadzaka Road and Svuure-Chivamba Road that were destroyed by Cyclone Idai.
Eng Mukome said most roads in the province were in a deplorable state as they had outlived their life span, while some were destroyed by the devastating cyclone.
He said surfaced roads within the province had potholes, edge drops and edge breaks.
Eng Mukome said most of the areas in the province were inaccessible during the rainy season due to inadequate or damaged structures such as bridges, roads and culverts.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Ezra Chadzamira, applauded Government for its continued efforts to develop the province.
He said upgrading of roads will increase economic activity in the province and attract investors.
Minister Matiza also went to check road work progress along Chivi-Mhandamabwe Road.
Source : The Herald