MASVINGO — Delays in completing the roundabout to curb numerous fatal road accidents at the “killer junction” along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway ahead of the festive season is likely to see more accidents as traffic volumes increased, residents and motorists have warned.
The roundabout is being constructed at the intersection linking the high-density suburbs of Mucheke and Rujeko as well as Morningside and Great Zimbabwe University to Masvingo town. Most roads branch off from the junction near Masvingo Polytechnic College and a number of fatal accidents have been recorded there, particularly at night.
The construction of the roundabout started in September after the government injected $500 000 to reduce accidents as well as regulate traffic along one of the country’s busiest highways.
Yet the construction is moving at a snail’s pace and there are confusing detours at a time when most Zimbabweans based in South Africa are expected to flock back home for the festive season.
“While it was a timely intervention and welcome development to start construction of the roundabout, we feel the project should have been completed before the festive season as the volume of traffic is expected to increase,” Anotidaishe Muguti, programmes co-ordinator of the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, said.
“It’s either the project should have started early before the onset of the rainy season and the festive season, or it should be timeously completed, otherwise there will be many more accidents,” Muguti said.
Other motorists and residents also echoed the same sentiments given the traffic volumes on that road.
However, Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry permanent secretary Munesu Munodawafa recently said the roundabout is set to be completed in March next year.
“The completion was delayed by some infrastructure as well as other services found underground that belong to the Masvingo City Council like sewer and water pipes.
“Our graders could not just demolish the structures, but we have engaged the city council. We hope we are going to increase pace as the area had become the worst black spot in the province, more so considering that it is along the busy Beitbridge highway, so it is dangerous,” Munodawafa said.