Farai Mukuwane Herald Reporter
Harare City Council and Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) have struck a deal to increase the number of road maintenance workers from 450 to 1 000 to speed up repairs. Some city roads are no longer passable because of potholes. The city last year engaged 450 contract workers who had their contracts extended by three months. Acting Town Clerk, Mrs Josephine Ncube, said the agreement to increase the number of workers would see road maintenance being done in several wards.
“The drains are a big part of the road network. The issue is that when we clear drains people go on to litter and the drains are blocked all over again. We have agreed with Zinara to extend the contracts of those 450 people for an additional 3 months.
“The reason why road maintenance has been slow is because workers need to be in large numbers in any one area; we cannot have 10 people in a single ward and then expect them to make a major impact,” she said.
“That way we can work on many wards at any given moment. They will be doing multiple jobs including grass cutting, drain clearance and road maintenance. The workers have already started work on constructing road overlays on High Glen Road and suburban roads. We will work with the environmental committee in order to identify roads that are in need of maintenance.”
Some councillors were concerned that despite increasing the number of maintenance workers, their contracts would run out before work was completed.
A row between Zinara and council over allocation of road funds was making it difficult for the city to attend to potholes.