Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (zinara) has bowed to pressure from Dema residents to relocate the tollgate in their area, with the parastatal saying it has since started the relocation process.
zinara spokesperson Mr Augustine Moyo confirmed the development to The Herald yesterday, saying they were now awaiting the gazetting of the new site by Government.
“zinara would like to advise the residents of Dema and surrounding areas that their concerns have been noted and action has been taken.
“I can confirm that all necessary procedures to ensure the relocation of the tollgate have been done and we are now awaiting the gazetting of the new site in the Government Gazette which is a pre-requisite in terms of the law.
“Once the new site has been gazetted, construction works will then commence at the new site.”
Mr Moyo said zinara had temporarily been granting exemptions to residents living within a 10-kilometre radius for their convenience.
“In the meanwhile, for those residents who live within the 10-km radius from the tollgate, exemptions are being processed and granted by zinara as required by the law to ameliorate any inconveniences that may be encountered by the motoring public,” he said.
The move comes as calls to relocate the Chitungwiza-Dema tollgate grew louder after the Chitungwiza and Manyame residents recently wrote a letter to zinara requesting that the parastatal speeds up the process of relocating the tollgate to a strategic place.
In the letter, the Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA) director Mr Marvellous Kumalo wrote: “Over the past couple of months, our office has received several enquiries from residents and other stakeholders in respect of the delayed relocation of the tollgate situated in Chanakira village between Chitungwiza and Dema growth point to a strategic place.
“CAMERA regards the relocation as a critical matter for the community and would appreciate information relating to the status of the tollgate and its delayed relocation.
“We write seeking clarity on the tollgate relocation issue from your esteemed office as the concerned tollgate is located within a 10-kilometre radius from Chitungwiza, making it very difficult for residents who commute from Dema growth point and surrounding areas on a daily basis to and from Chitungwiza or Harare.
“Our previous engagements with the affected residents and other related stakeholders, including traditional leaders, have indicated that the tollgate should have been moved to an area near Mabhauwa Shopping Centre, so as not to inconvenience the commuting public mostly from Dema growth point and surrounding areas.”
Mr Kumalo said according to reports from commuters, passing through the “improperly located tollgate” on a daily basis, the tollgate usually experiences huge traffic volumes during peak periods, thereby delaying motorists from reaching their destinations on time.