Construction of the Kanyemba-Mahuwe highway which links Mashonaland Central to the border town has gathered momentum with sections of the road being tarred, but it is not the same same story for Murambinda-Birchenough road in Manicaland province.
Mbire legislator, Cde Douglas Karoro commended the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development for being committed to the project.
“We thought it would take three years before reaching where they are now, but I am happy with the way the Ministry of Transport is working. There were some challenges with workers selling fuel whenever an allocation was received and that was slowing progress but am happy to report that some of the corrupt elements have been arrested,” he said.
Mahuwe villagers said the impact of the project is being felt already as a few locals were employed, while accessibility to Kanyemba is set to improve.
The completion of the road will improve connectivity between Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique as well as unlock massive economic opportunities for the Kanyemba border town which is being transformed to an economic hub under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
Meanwhile, Buhera farmers have bemoaned the state of Murambinda-Birchenough road, whose rehabilitation has suffered a major setback from a number of factors, including unavailability of equipment required to finish the project.
According to Manicaland Provincial Roads Engineer, Artherton Zindoga their budget was heavily affected by inflation and this has had a negative impact on the project.
“Our target for this year was rehabilitating at least 16km of the road but due to a number of reasons, we do not think that it is going to be attainable. Our budget was affected by inflation. We do not have enough fuel and there is not enough equipment as most of the equipment we need is unavailable on the market otherwise our team is there and ready to commence work as soon as more resources are available. Some of our equipment is being used in other road projects across the province since we have to share the equipment,” he said.
So far, only 3,5km of the targeted 16km have been completed with villagers expressing concern over the delay in the completion of the road, saying it is heavily affecting their businesses since most of them are small grain farmers.
“This road should be rehabilitated soon, it is now in a bad shape and our businesses are being affected because people do not want to travel to our area due to the bad road. We are small grain farmers and our market is limited due to lack of a good road network. We just hope that the road will be completed soon because we are losing business,” said some of the farmers.
Buhera District Administrator, Mr Freeman Mavhiza said the Murambinda-Birchenough road will unlock a lot of business opportunities for Buhera district, hence the need to expedite rehabilitation of the road.
“As a district, we are losing a lot of business because of the state of the road. Roads connect communities and opens up business opportunities and we are hopeful that the completion of the Murambinda-Birchenough road will be a game changer for the district,” he said.
Rehabilitation of the country’s road network is one of the priorities of the second republic with a number of roads that include the Harare-Beitbridge highway and Tanganda-Checheche road being targeted.