The state of roads in Chitungwiza is continuing to deteriorate, with most now being virtually impassable due to the widening and deepening of potholes, while the local authority has been taking a laid back approach to the issue.
The pothole riddled roads are increasingly becoming a hazard to motorists who are finding it difficult to navigate them.
There are fears that the situation will worsen when rains start, as expected soon.
When The Herald visited the town yesterday, some council workers were filling portholes along one of the roads using gravel.
Some residents deplored the council’s piece-meal approach to the issue.
“It is useless to patch the potholes using gravel, especially now when the rainy season is upon us because the gravel will simply be washed away, leaving a bigger pothole,” said one resident who preferred to remain anonymous.
Another resident said: “We need long lasting solutions because this is a cost to us. This is a double-edged sword for us because on one hand we are paying for road repairs, but they are not being repaired and on the other, our cars are being damaged everyday as we drive on these roads and we are having to pay a premium to have them repaired monthly, which is very unfair.”
Speaking during a recent meeting with Harare provincial development coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, Chitungwiza’s acting town clerk Mrs Evangelista Machona said limited funding was their major constraint, adding that only three percent of council roads were tarred.
“Our road network is aged and in poor condition,” she said. “It needs total rehabilitation.
“Funding problems on roads have been worsened by the removal of the vehicle licensing role from local authorities, while we also need to acquire adequate road equipment to improve road maintenance.”
Interestingly, while Chitungwiza Municipality has only three percent of the town’s roads tarred, critical equipment worth thousands of US dollars has been abandoned for more than three years at a local car park.
A pothole cutter and compactors were dumped at Macheka Grounds car park in St Mary’s by council’s roadworks team that was carrying out repairs along Rufaro Street sometime in 2017, only to be collected this year.
This was despite the fact that council officials were using picks and shovels to repair roads, yet the state-of-the-art machines was lying idle.