MASH CENTRAL: Calls to expedite road & bridge construction in Mukumbura

By  Tapiwa Machemedze  

THE need to expedite rehabilitation of bridges and roads in remote areas came under the spotlight when the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development toured Mukumbura area this Wednesday.

Mukumbura area has been lagging behind development, with residents appealing for parliamentarians who visited the area on Tuesday to push for the rebuilding of Tsenga and Nyautande bridges destroyed in the 90s.

Oliver Chitsunga  a community member bemoans the absence of the bridge,“Tsenga was washed away in 1996 and the lack of a bridge has caused the death of pregnant women who were coming from Chimbue to Mukumbura where the clinic is. Down here there are no clinics.”

Another community member Stanely Chakara said, “We want to thank this visit and hope it will speed up action, because in the rainy season no bus comes through here.”

Mount Darwin North legislator, Honourable Noveti Muponora said the bridge is a key enabler for cotton producers in the area.

“This bridge is not just for buses to pass through but there is a lot of economic activity that goes on down there. We have a lot of cotton farmers and they need to transport their produce but now they have to go around and as a result they are incurring up to four times the costs of transport,” said  Honourable Muponora.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development, Honourable Oscar Gorerino said the committee is tracking infrastructure development in remote areas which are often marginalised in development.

“Parliament is used to going to Madziwa and Mount Darwin then coming back so concern was raised that we are Harare legislators only, so we decided to come here to Tsenga bridge. You can see that even Mukumbura road is a big problem because its just 85 kilometres to the border but there has been no development on it since 1980, so people will be complaining and yet they have representatives from legislators, councillor right up to the President, so we want the President to see what the roads are like,” said Chairperson Gorerino.

The committee met with the provincial roads engineer and the district development fund represetatives to understand the challenges which are being encountered in the road construction and maintenance process.