By Staff Reporter
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has urged government to prioritize the construction of roads whose state it declared a national disaster.
The National Disaster on Roads must evoke the same intensity of action to address.
Road construction is already a priority of the 2021 national budget with one of its priorities being the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge –Harare Highway.
Road construction processes could provide critical stimulus and opportunities to young and unemployed citizens.
In a statement ZIMCODD said government must urgently release funds for roads repairs.
“This decision is pertinent to the release of funds for maintenance and repair works. ZIMCODD acknowledges the importance of the Declaration albeit with concerns over repeated national failure to address resource leakages through corruption and the possibilities of increased borrowing to finance additional infrastructure development.”
There is need for road infrastructural development for business sake.
“More can be done to leverage public sector led infrastructural development particularly road construction, to enhance market access for small businesses and smallholder farmers, create jobs and facilitate free movement of goods and services within Zimbabwe. A functional public transport system and efficient road network in Zimbabwe’s urban, peri urban and rural areas is critical to the growth of the agricultural and informal sectors where most Zimbabweans find their livelihoods.
“Some areas have become inaccessible because of extensive damage and poor maintenance, this will likely slow down vaccination and pots Covid -19 economic recovery efforts,” said ZIMCODD.
Unequal distribution of resources by the government is also slowing down progress. A report by ZINARA highly indicates inequitable resource distribution. The City of Harare received $46 million, Bulawayo $16million, while Gweru got $7million, Mutare got $9million and Masvingo got $4million.
“An unending stream of cases involving the corrupt handling of road funding has weakened public trust in ZINARA and local authorities.”
In an interview, one Masvingo resident said the heavy rains had worsened the already bad state of roads.
“We do not know why nothing is being done to make sure the roads are in good state. Traffic going in and out of the country use the Harare- Masvingo road but now the road is characterized by potholes, the council tried to refill the potholes but this did not help at all and now with these rains it is a serious disaster,” he said.