Gweru-Bulawayo road verges fencing begins Transport and Infrastructure development Permanent Secretary Munesu Munodawafa(with a lever) launches road parameters fencing project in Gweru on Monday. Looking on are Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe managing director Mr Obio Chinyere(with tablet phone) and other government officials.
Munesushe Munodawafa

Munesushe Munodawafa

Nyemudzai kakore Herald Correspondent

Government yesterday launched the fencing of the 162 kilometre highway between Gweru and Bulawayo in a bid to reduce road accidents being caused by stray livestock.The project which was funded by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe to the tune of $400 000 is expected to be completed by November 30.

Addressing delegates at the launch of the project in Gweru and Bulawayo yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Mr Munesu Munodawafa said the motivation behind the project was to safeguard the unnecessary loss of lives on the major highway which had risen because of stray animals.

He said driving on the highway had become a nightmare as motorists would encounter stray animals in the middle of the road at every kilometre.He said this was a pilot project which was going to spearhead the continued fencing of verges along all other major highways to be undertaken in the future.

One hundred and twenty people mostly youths from the local communities had been romped in to work on the project, Mr Munodawafa said.

“We are launching the pilot fencing project which stretches from Gweru to Bulawayo at a distance of almost 160km,” he said.“Many lives have been lost on this road because of stray animals. This is part of our labour based road maintenance and rehabilitation programme and it is now Government policy that all new road projects along major highways will be accompanied by fencing as part of the projects.”

Prominent individuals who died recently after hitting stray animals on the highway are national hero Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai who was also the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) general manager and Apostle Chiriseri.Mr Munodawafa said Government had appealed to the local leadership including the law enforcement agencies that the new parameter fence be protected from vandalism.

“A fence used to be there but it was vandalised and as Government, we are redoubling our efforts to save the loss of life and we have given the responsibility to the local leadership which includes district administrators, councillors, chiefs, and all the members of the communities that they look after the new fence”.

TSCZ managing director Mr Obio Chinyere said this was one of the strategies being spearheaded by the parastatal to reduce road carnage on the roads.He said the $400 000 had funded the acquisition of fence, poles and payment of employees working on the project.

“Our mandate as a parastatal under the Ministry of Transport is to conscientise all road users on safety usage of the road and to do everything possible to achieve that goal. We fall under the Zim-Asset component of infrastructure development, hence this part of the infrastructural development exercise,” he said.

Mr Chinyere took the opportunity to urge motorists to be disciplined, not to drink and drive, to stick to all road rules and regulations and where possible travel during the day as the festive season approaches.

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