By Shingirai Vambe
REGARDLESS of the state of the roads in Zimbabwe, due to negligence, lives are needlessly lost, with permanent injuries to accident victims, who, in most cases receive little or no compensation.
Do you know that there is a fund for road traffic accident victims because The road carnage keeps growing as if it was a good aspect with harvesting results.
Accidents do happen, but bad driving factors seem to be increasing. With the recent post by Norton Legislator, Temba Mliswa, citing state of the roads in Zimbabwe, especially in the residential suburbs, this is cause for concern.
The casualty department of public hospitals is a hive of activity, with most cases being road accidents. The poor state of the roads, coupled with human error and unroadworthy vehicles is to blame.
The state of the road in Zimbabwe is by itself, a death trap. It is expensive for one to own and maintain a vehicle, follow prescribed road rules and regulations, if all things were to measure up.
A good example is the Bulawayo and Mutare Road between 6am to 8:30am and between 4pm — 8pm in the evening. The state of the road results in massive congestion which can be blamed on Zimbabweans as bad drivers.
The amount of fuel used or lost during these hours is said to be more than one can use in a week. A driver has a car running, burning fuel, yet remains stationery, if it moves, it’s a couple of metres, less than 50m an hour, consuming a litre of fuel. Unbelievable and sad reality of the state of roads in Zimbabwe.
The Harare/ Masvingo/Chitungwiza is another headache for road users, it takes a driver 4 hours to get home, a 20km stretch on that highway sees one travelling from Harare arriving in Machipanda along the Harare/Mutoko Highway clocking an hour less.
Interestingly, the World Bank, regardless of the debt Zimbabwe has, it lends for roads construction more than what it does for education, health and other social services. The understanding is of the purpose, is to link producers to markets, workers to jobs, students to school, the sick to hospitals, roads are vital to any development agenda.
In the drive to reduce gas emissions to 40% and less, it looks an impossible feat in Zimbabwe.
Globally the transport sector accounts for 23 percent of global energy related carbon dioxide emissions and significant share of local particle pollution.
The amount of emission into the air during the pick hour and driving in local suburbs of Zimbabwe is too high and calling for the authorities to directly look at this urgently. The recent tour by Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) with the media to Beitbridge give a little significance to drivers in all towns of the country’s 10 provinces including the rural areas with gravel roads.
Earlier the ministry of Transport issued a statement, told the Post On Sunday Newspaper that they are taking over national road construction and rehabilitation following an outcry by citizens from various towns that Local Authorities do not have the required machinery to fix or construct roads in Zimbabwe.
It however boggles the mind, why ZINARA continues to give Councils in Zimbabwe money for road rehabilitation, the work being done by the ministry of Transport.
This Publication has since sent question to ZINARA to respond why it continues to dish out funds for substandard work. We also asked on its position regarding the Chivhu and Masvingo tollgates which continuously get money from commuting public but there is no proper shelter and safety for its staff.
ZINARA staff at these 2 tollgates among others without proper shelter is prone to health and security hazards when the country is recording alarming robbery cases
ZANARA communication department have failed to respond to these pertinent issues.
Without the police in some intersection in the central business district, accidents will be happening every minute, due to malfunctioning traffic lights and loss of power. A technical approach is needed to reduce accidents and improve systems and road network in Zimbabwe.
Tafara from Marondera told this publication that, he would rather stay and commute from Marondera daily than staying in Harare.
“Owing to corruption, majority are not experienced drivers, some drive without, some with fake licenses, causing danger in the country’s roads and highways.
Its now 3 years after passing my class 2 driving lessons and to date I haven’t got my metal disk but some who got their licenses after me already have metal disks,”added Tafara.
Effort to get a comment from Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Felix Mhona on Government position regarding license disks were fruitless.
Meanwhile Police in Rusape confirmed the arrest of robbers in Harare who had killed son of a business man, Globus in Rusape. The 4 were intercepted trying to commit another crime and they were shot and died on the spot. In another case, they also confirmed the arrest and conviction of Godfrey Dara for various theft crimes and at one point stole Rusape Chicken inn intersection traffic lights batteries.
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