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Govt starts Bulawayo-Nkayi road rehab

by Staff reporter
06 Aug 2021 at 06:40hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has started rehabilitating the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road, a development which will bring relief to motorists and commuters.

The Bulawayo-Nkayi Road had become untrafficable and a death trap. Chronicle on Wednesday observed road rehabilitation works being done along the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road from Bulawayo up to Cross Matapa. The road has been graded and road maintenance teams were on the ground with their various equipment and machinery.

The areas that have been graded are now traffickable. Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo commended Government for releasing funds to repair the road. He said the release of the funds is a culmination of several meetings held between Government and community leaders.

"Last month, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Felix Mhona held a meeting with leaders from Nkayi to discuss the road issue. The meeting was attended by chiefs and the two MPs from Nkayi, Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni and Nkayi South MP Stars Mathe. So, we agreed that works on the road should start as many people had raised concern over its bad state. This is why there is so much activity on that road," he said. Minister Moyo said President Mnangagwa's Government wants to see the region being developed in line with the national thrust.

"We want to express gratitude to President's Mnangagwa's Government for allocating $350 million for the rehabilitation of that road. I also know there is also a supplementary budget for the same road which will ensure that we cover a lot of ground. Also, the Bulawayo-Tsholotsho Road was also allocated $350 million but I understand that they are still in the process of allocating contracts to contractors," said Minister Moyo.

Mathe said the commencement of the road rehabilitation works is a result of a meeting community leaders from Nkayi held with Minister Mhona.

"We called the minister after getting a lot of pressure from chiefs from Nkayi headmen, the business community and residents who had complained that the road had been neglected for many years. The community wanted to know how the budget that is allocated towards the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road is utilised as they had not seen any progress on the ground. So, I took an initiative to engage our Provincial Affairs Minister Moyo who also supported that we call the Minister of Transport to a roundtable discussion on the road," she said.

Mathe said community leaders expressed their displeasure over neglect of the important road. She said Minister Mhona assured the community leaders that work will commence as soon as possible but it was further stalled by contractual issues which have since been resolved. "I was happy when I travelled to Bulawayo and found the team on the ground.

There are changes and people are calling to confirm what they are seeing on the ground. The way we pressurised the Minister is what has yielded the results that we are seeing today," she said.

Chief Sikobokobo welcomed the works being done on the road.

"We have seen what is being done the road is being graded but I don't know how sustainable the rehabilitation works are going to be. We were hoping for a more permanent solution because just grading the road will not last long. When it rains the road will be affected," said Chief Sikobokobo.

Matabeleland North provincial roads engineer, Engineer Stephen Kamutema said road reconstruction is being done under the Phase Two of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme. The road rehabilitation programme is said to have created at least 20 000 jobs and contributed to improved economic activities in the construction sector.

Source - chronicle