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    Sunday, 22 January 2017

    Mberengwa chiefs to petition Mugabe over state of roads

    •  ADB withdrew funding for Mberengwa West
    Nicholson, Murambinda Birchenough Bridge roads


    MBERENGWA -  Mberengwa which is the only district that has no tarred road running across it but has had two major roads earmarked for such status for many years will soon see its traditional leaders sending a petition to President Mugabe complaining against the dilapidated state of the roads.
    Chiefs Mposi, Mudavanhu, Maziofa, Mataruse and Mudavanhu confirmed the development and said villagers under their areas were signing petitions that would go to both President Mugabe and the Minister of Transport, Jorum Gumbo who incidentally comes from the same district.
    Commenting in an interview with The Mirror Minister Gumbo who is also Mberengwa West MP said Government got money from the African Development Bank for the construction of these roads in 2000 but this funding was withdrawn when the country was placed under the USA sanctions.
    He said the money was to be used to tar Murambinda-Birchnough and Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road. The sanctions were brought on Zimbabwe when just 2km of the later road had been constructed.
    "Government has no funds at the moment but we hope if we get funding those projects will resume. ADB gave us funding for the construction of Mberengwa –West Nicholson Road but due to sanctions America used its influence to withdraw the funding and the project stopped until today we have not obtained any funding," said Gumbo.
    Mberengwa Chief Executive Officer Julius Mashavakure said there was need for a total overhaul of roads in the district.
    Angry villagers are accusing Government of neglecting Mberengwa District and are seeking audience with the highest office in the country.
    Three roads, Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road , Zvishavane-Rutenga and Ngungumbane-Yorks Road are supposed to be tarred but they are in a dilapidated state.
    "Villagers are compiling a petition to the President and Minister Gumbo over the state of roads in Mberengwa. It's an open secret that funds for the construction of tarred roads in Mberengwa were abused by certain individuals and there is need for Government to investigate the issue.
    "Now that we have our own son (Min Gumbo) as the Minister of Transport, he must plough back to the people that raised him. Haungatengeri jari kuna mai vemuvakidzani wako ivo vako vakapfeka dehwe (You cannot bring development to other areas yet your own area is in shambles). We believe construction of a good road network is the solution to all development issues in Mberengwa," said Chief Mudavanhu.
    The traditional leaders expect to deliver the petition to the President by the end of this month.
    Villagers in Chaza, Danga and Chamawanga have for the past two years been constructing a bridge in Chomukoto that was destroyed by floods in 2014. The Chomukoto highway is one of the busiest roads as it links Mberengwa North, East and South constituencies.
    Mberengwa Chief Executive Officer Julius Mashavakure said, "We used to complement each other with Ministry of Roads but currently it's a different story. There is need for a total overhaul of roads in the district."
    Zimbabwe Transporters Association President Tawanda Manhundu said the refurbishment of two tarred roads in Mberengwa would be a milestone achievement for buses and cargos that ply to the border as it is much shorter to cut through Mberengwa than using either Chivi or Mbalabala road.
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