Zim must work on potholes

OUR roads are now death traps because of potholes and overgrown roadside grass that makes it nigh impossible to navigate for any driver.

Precious time is being lost as people are delayed by the potholes which have caused quite a number of accidents and breakdowns.

While official statistics on the carnage caused by potholes are at the moment scarce — it is a common sight to come across broken-down vehicles as the tyres succumb to the craters that have widened since the beginning of the rainy season.

And with the Meteorological Services Department forecasting more rains, government and local authorities have to act now to address the pothole problem on city roads as well as highways to prevent loss of life, time wastage and unnecessary costs motorists have to incur.

Motorists pay quarterly to use the roads and those who drive past tollgates also pay for the usage of the roads, yet there is little investment in such critical infrastructure.

For that reason, we feel the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) is giving Zimbabweans a raw deal.

It seems Zinara — which is making a killing from cash collections at numerous tollgates festooned on the country’s roads — is not aware of the potholes on our roads because had it been, it would have started mending them because they are now death traps.

Our roads — some of which predate the country’s independence — are so bad that navigating them is a nightmare and we wonder how Zinara continues collecting revenue without mending them.

Ideally, roads require periodic maintenance every three, five and seven years after they are constructed.
And after five years, there should be resealing, then after seven years an overlay should be done to ensure they are safe for use but none of that is being done by Zinara.

Councils like Harare are taking the flak for the poor state of our roads yet Zinara is to blame because they collect every penny on our roads.

According to Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, the council — which is supposed to get $40 million per year — is only getting a miserly $1 million from Zinara and considering the cost of repairing a tarred road, the money is barely enough.

It costs approximately $5 per square metre to fix a pothole, while it would cost $30 000 for a kilometre stretch of road to be tarred and fixed.

We would like to call upon Zinara to focus its energies on repairing roads and not merely patching the potholes for that does not work considering we are in the rain season.

Post a comment