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Residents sue govt over defective flyovers

by Stephen Jakes
15 Dec 2023 at 20:49hrs | Views
HARARE residents are suing Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, over some defective flyovers, which are posing a serious safety risk to inhabitants of the capital city.

The residents through their association, Harare Residents Trust (HRT) recently filed an application at Harare High Court seeking an order to compel Mhona to rectify the defects on three of the capital city's flyovers located along Simon Mazorodze road, Lytton road and Fidel Castro road within 90 days of the granting of the court order so as to ensure that the flyovers are safe for use by road users.

HRT also wants the High Court to declare that Mhona's conduct in failing to rectify the defects on the three flyovers to be a contravention of residents' right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being as enshrined in section 73(1) of the Constitution.

Through the application, which was filed on 8 December 2023 by Tonderai Bhatasara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, HRT together with Loreen Mupesa, a resident of Harare, who said she frequently uses roads located on the flyovers, argued that as the official responsible for maintenance and rehabilitation of roads in Zimbabwe, Hon. Mhona has a duty to safeguard people's lives by ensuring that roads are safe in the country.

HRT and Mupesa protested that Hon. Mhona had not attended to fixing the defects, which were noted on the flyovers several years ago and this had exposed the flyovers to the risk of collapse and thereby endangering the lives of members of the public.

HRT and Mupesa said with each day passing, the flyovers had increasingly become dangerous and unsafe to use.

According to HRT and Mupesa, the defects on the three flyovers were identified by officials from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and City of Harare, who conducted a joint inspection and these are contained in a report, which the officials produced on 27 July 2012.

Some of the defects, which were noted and are listed in the joint report include spalling of concrete on bottom flanges of beams on edges, severe corrosion to reinforcement steel, visible cracks along the centreline deck, severely damaged expansion joints, excessive vibration of superstructure, poor drainage of super structure, water leaking on expansion joints and longitudinal cracks.

HRT and Mupesa argued that while Hon. Mhona's ministry had in 2021 acknowledged the existence of the defects on the flyovers and had undertook to rectify them, he had since 2021 not fixed them hence the residents now want the Minister to be compelled by the High Court to repair them and help eliminate the danger, which they pose to motorists and other road users.

Source - Byo24News