CHIEF TSEISI of the Lemba ethnic group in Mberengwa has appealed to the government to rehabilitate roads that were badly damaged by heavy rains that pounded the district early this year.
The heavy downpours left all major roads linking Mberengwa to surrounding districts such as Gwanda, Rutenga and Zvishavane with gullies making it difficult for public transport operators to ply the routes.
“Most roads and bridges were destroyed by heavy rains early this year creating a serious transport shortage in Mberengwa.
“Our people are now being charged exorbitant fares by motorists who are taking advantage of the situation since most bus operators that used to ply the Mberengwa routes have stopped because the roads are impassible,” Chief Tseisi said.
He said Mberengwa was one of the largest districts in the country, but has no tarred road compared to some relatively smaller districts.
“I strongly believe that we are being marginalised in a way because we are the only district that does not have a tarred road that cuts across the district yet official maps show that the Mberengwa to West Nicholson Road is tarred. It’s the same scenario with the Rutenga to Yokes Road via Ngungumbane and Mataga Road. The government must fulfill its stipulated plans instead of making false representations,” he said.
Most bus operators, including the State-owned Zimbabwe United Passengers Company have abandoned Mberengwa routes due to the terrible roads and damaged bridges.
Chief Tseisi said the government was wasting money paying salaries to Transport ministry officials based at Chegato, but they were not doing anything that deserved a salary.
“I wonder why the government continues to pay salaries to Transport ministry workers at Chegato when they are doing absolutely nothing on the situation. They always refer us to their Gweru offices and we wonder what their role is,” he said.
He said people in need of urgent medical treatment were dying due to lack of transport to ferry them to Mnene, Jeka, Mberengwa and Msume hospitals owing to the terrible state of roads in the district.