By John Nhandara
Some more than 300 kilometres out of Harare in Mashonaland Central Province lies Mbire district where villagers rely on selling wares and vegetables to neighbouring Zambia in Luangwa, across the Zambezi River.
It is also in Kanyemba where government is working on projects such as the Kanyemba irrigation scheme to improve livelihoods.
Government has set in motion plans to construct a modern port of entry along the Zambezi River in Kanyemba area of Mashonaland Central province.
The port will be a key transit point between Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
The task to cross the Zambezi River into Zambia from Kanyemba boarder post is however not easy for the villagers due to absence of proper infrastructure, leaving them with no option except to use canoes which are not safe.
“We use these canoes to cross, but they are not safe as you can see there are no life jackets,” a resident said.
Christmas Kachasu, Chapoto Ward 1 Councillor said, “We are having challenges currently due to poor road infrastructure and crossing to Luangwa is also a challenge.”
These challenges coupled with the country’s zeal of improving connectivity between Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique has prompted government to set in motion plans to construct a Y bridge along the Zambezi River.
The major scope of the project is the redesign and construction of a modern Kanyemba boarder post, with the contractor already mobilising equipment for the project.
The development was confirmed by Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona, who was at Kanyemba boarder post for an assessment tour of infrastructure development programmes.
“The essence of us coming up with a vibrant boarder post is to promote interconnectivity. We are redesigning the border post. The contractor who will rehabilitate the Harare-Kanyemba Road, will also be here to rehabilitate the border post. Feasibility studies are also ongoing for the Y bridge which will connect us with Mozambique and Zambia,” he said.
The development was long overdue for Mashonaland Central Province as it will result in increased trade between the three countries, while also creating opportunities for the tourism sector in the province.
Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Monica Mavhunga noted, “We will benefit a lot as a province because movement of villagers will be easy, while there will be increased trade activities between our countries. We have many activities here in Mashonaland Central province and such infrastructure is necessary.”
Rehabilitation of the Harare-Kanyemba Road is already underway as government intensifies its infrastructural development agenda in line with the National Development Strategy One.
A 300 million United States dollar project for the upgrading and modernisation of the Beitbridge boarder post is also underway under a build, operate and transfer agreement between the government of Zimbabwe and Zimboarders Consortium of South Africa.