Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The poor state of major roads in Beitbridge East is adversely affecting the introduction of public transport resulting in communities in the constituency relying heavily on private motorists who are charging unreasonably high fares.
This was said by Beitbridge East legislator, Albert Nguluvhe during the distribution of food hampers to church groups, people living with disabilities, orphanages, civil servants, thehospital the other vulnerable members of the group.
The parliamentarian said he has sourced 30 tonnes of rice from national Government through the assistance of Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who is also from his constituency.
Cde Nguluvhe said he had since engaged the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Engineer Joel Biggie Matiza to expedite the completion of pending roads projects in Beitbridge district.
An estimated 180 000 people live in the rural component of the district.
“It costs an average of R150 for one to travel from rural Beitbridge to town mostly journeys of 100km,” he said.
“The Lutumba/Tshikwalakwala road is one of the affected major roads in our constituency and its current state is affecting the reintroduction of public transport. However, I have approached the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) who have promised to give us buses to service routes along the same road once it is fixed.”
The legislator said he had approached a number of other public transport operators to service the rural routes and most of them were reluctant because of the bad shape of major roads.
The Lutumba to Tshikwalakwala road also services nine business centres, Beitbridge Colliery Mine, six clinics and Chituripasi police station, and two major irrigation schemes, which include; Tshikwalakwala and Tshamaswiswi, across six wards.
Cde Nguluvhe said the Covid-19 pandemic had left a lot of households’ food insecure, especially those who used to rely on cross border related businesses.
It is understood that prior to the lockdown, 15 000 people were food in secure from the district and the figure has relatively increased.
“This rice is being shared with all members of the community, especially the orphans, elderly, disabled, frontline Government workers among others.
“I want to appeal to the business community to pool resources and assist the government in addressing the people’s social needs, particularly the food and nutrition security,” he said.
As efforts to ease the social strife caused by hunger, religious groups among them the Pentecostal Assembles of Zimbabwe church has between April and July donated food hampers to 72 Beitbridge town residents mostly those falling in the vulnerable group.
The church’s leader, Pastor Newman Mugandani said yesterday that it was important for the church to help people at their greatest hour of need.