Masvingo residents are calling on the government to carry out some rehabilitation works at Chimusana Bridge as the main Mucheke River bridge- which is used by traffic going to and from South Africa- has become congested during the peak hour times.
Masvingo residents told Hevoi FM News that it was now cumbersome to reach the Central Business District from Mucheke residential areas as Chimusana bridge, which is supposed to be short cut into town, can no longer cater for a huge volume of traffic.
“We are calling on the government and Masvingo City Council to carry out some rehabilitation work at Chimusana bridge which is supposed to be an easy gateway into town,”said a Mucheke resident.
“The bridge is now overwhelmed with traffic as it is now narrow,”added the resident.
Taurai Madyangove, a resident of Sisk suburb, told Hevoi FM News that he fears a national disaster if the Mucheke River bridge collapses.
“It will be a national disaster if Mucheke River Bridge which is used as a gateway by traffic coming to and from South Africa which is our biggest trading partner.Remember this bridge is used by traffic coming to and from South Africa to countries such as Zambia, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.Mucheke River bridge becomes congested during the peak hours making it difficult for motorists including drivers of haulage trucks to enter or go out of town….the local authority must give a priority to Chimusana bridge and carry out some necessary rehabilitation work,”said Madyangove.
Some residents also told Hevoi FM News that due to the congestion, they are arriving to work late.
“Due to the congestion at Mucheke River bridge it is now taking long to get to our work places in the morning, the authorities need to do something over the issue,”said a resident.
Masvingo Residents Forum secretary, Prosper Tiringindi blames the local authority for ignoring residents’ pleas over the reconstruction of Chimusana bridge.
“Over the years we have lobbied council to rehabilitate Chimusana bridge but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.Council once promised to reconstruct the bridge but later on backtracked saying they could not afford to carry out maintenance works which accumulated to US$3 million during the time when Adolf Gusha was the Town Clerk.Our council must give this project a priority,”said Tiringindi.
In a previous interview, Masvingo Town Clerk, engineer Edward Mukaratirwa told Business Times that Chimusana project will be covered under the road rehabilitation phase three programme.
“There are plans for the bridge to be rehabilitated .On our proposals which we did, we considered the project under the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation programme.However the bridge rehabilitation programme does not qualify under the routine maintenance programme which is the first phase.It also does not qualify under the phase two programme which is the periodic maintenance but it qualifies under the third phase,”said engineer Mukaratirwa.
“We are hoping that if all goes well and get some funding, we will be able to rehabilitate the bridge under the emergency road rehabilitation programme, which is the third phase,”he added.