It is just a 12km stretch but it is one of the most horrific rides. This 12 km stretch of the Neshuro –Mapwi road leads to the only major referral hospital in that part of the country.

Caught between a rock and a hard surface best summarises the plight of Mwenezi villagers, whose supposed road to survival ironically also spells their road to death.

Neshuro road, the only available avenue to the major referral hospital, is in such a horrid state that pregnant women fear delivering or even losing their unborn babies to the bumpiness of the strip.

“Nezuro ndakauya nemwana wangu anepamviri , zvokwadi chero unemurwere urimumota unenge uchitofunga anosvika apedzisika. Ndaingoti nhasi ndichasvika , nhasi ndichasvika…..(Yesterday I brought my pregnant daughter here, if you are travelling with a patient on this road you keep wondering if the condition will not worsen. I kept asking myself if we will get here….),’’ said one of the ladies at the hospital.

In the wake of having to contend with what the villagers have now termed the nightmare ride, transport operators are cashing in on the villagers’ desperation citing the poor state of the road as justification for the exorbitant fares charged for the 12km trip.

 “ Izvozvi kuuya kuno tabhadara ma $12. Zvokwadi inobvepi? (We paid $12 for this trip, where do they think the money to comes from?),” she added.

 “ Road iyi haiiti saka mota dzedu dzofa saka totobhadarisa iyoyi mari. (Our cars break down because of the condition of the road, which is why we charge these fares),” said a public transport driver.

There is no immediate solution in sight according to Mwenezi Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Albert Chivanga who says their road maintenance equipment is down.

According to Chivanga the rehabilitation of the road requires at least $2 million.