Mashonaland Central Bureau
The rehabilitation and construction of roads under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2) is progressing well in Mashonaland Central province, with one of the major projects being the Kanyemba-Mahuhwe Road.
The Kanyemba-Mahuhwe Road is being redesigned before it is reconstructed to increase its safety, and reduce road accidents.
A local contractor, Exodus and Company (Pvt) Limited, won the tender for the road and is already on the ground.
Exodus and Company’s head infrastructure construction, Engineer Fanuel Tivaone, said they would be re-routing the road to reduce the number of curves, which have previously led to fatal accidents.
Eng Tivaone said they were in the process of aligning the horizontal and vertical alignments to give a smooth ride.
“We are working from Harare to Kanyemba, but the Mahuhwe-Kanyemba Road is taking priority because it is inaccessible, especially during the rainy season,” he said.
Apart from the Mahuhwe-Kanyemba Road, Exodus and Company will also be working on the 12km Guruve-Bakasa Road stretch.
The road would be widened and resurfaced, again to increase the safety of the road for its users.
“We intend to have a team working on Mushumbi going towards Kanyemba and another team from Angwa to connect Mushumbi and Kanyemba,” said Eng Tivaone.
Exodus and Company is one of the five companies contracted to widen the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, together with the Department of Roads which falls under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
It also resealed potholes on the Harare-Bindura Highway, among other roads in Mashonaland Central province.
Last week, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, visited the site where Exodus and Company is working on the Mahuhwe-Kanyemba Road and found the contractor busy with the work.
Minister Mhona said the Mahuhwe-Kanyemba Road was different from other roads where asphalt overlay was only done.
“Here, the contractor is redesigning the road to ensure a vibrant road,” he said. “The road construction is starting from Harare to Kanyemba, which is over 320km.
“We didn’t have plans for this road for years and the five-year period is a reasonable time frame which will allow great exploits and exceed expectations. We also need to mobilise resources. This is not the only project we are partaking as a nation.”
Minister Mhona said road construction was at the centre of national development.
In the case of Kanyemba roads, the modernisation will enhance trade between Zimbabwe and countries north of the Zambezi River like Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania and Mozambique in the east.
“Bilateral relations with other countries are made possible through road network and visiting other countries,” said Minister Mhona. “I am happy that our link with Zambia and Mozambique will be made easier, enhancing our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
A trader at Mashumbi Business Centre, Mrs Mabel Nyaruvabvu, said it was difficult and expensive to travel to Harare to get stock due to the bad state of the road.
“Motorists experienced lots of breakdowns due to the bad state of the road and getting to Harare was a nightmare for us,” she said. “We have an abundance of the masau fruit here, which is a source major of income for the Mbire district. We wished to take the fruit to Chinhoyi, Harare and other places, but the road was not trafficable.
“We really hope that after this exercise, we will be able to travel to various urban centres to sell masau so as to improve our living standards.”
Ms Elizabeth Musimurimwa of Chombe Village, who was selling her masau fruit by the roadside, said business was booming due to increased traffic on the road.
She said they used to travel to Mahuhwe on foot to seek medical attention at Mahuhwe Clinic, due to shortages of transport, but all that had now changed.
“We are in-between Mahuhwe and Mushumbi and we would pay US$2 for a 14km journey,” said Ms Musimurimwa. “We are happy with the road construction work and we thank the Government for prioritising people in marginalised communities.”
Chief Matsiwo thanked the Government for prioritising the Mahuhwe Kanyemba Road, saying the development will not only benefit the people of Mbire, but the whole country since Kanyemba was the shortest route into central Africa by 400km, compared to Chirundu.
“This road will bring great developments to the district and enhance trade with Zambia and Mozambique,” he said. “The 140km from Mahuhwe to Kanyemba can take seven hours but soon, this will be a thing of the past.
“We don’t want this progress to be stalled and want the tarred road to reach Kanyemba soon. We also have the oil and gas prospects in Mbire and as the Chief I am very excited.”
A village heath worker from Chombe village, Mr Joseh Gwevera, said his work involved frequenting Mahuhwe Clinic, but he faced challenges due to the bad state of the road, especially during the rainy season.
“Riding my bicycle on the pothole-riddled gravel road was a nightmare,” he said. “I am the happiest person of them all because my work involves moving around the village and visiting the clinic.”