Editorial Comment

Roads rehabilitation will spur economy

ON Monday, Transport minister Felix Mhona told journalists in Harare that the government would soon embark on rehabilitation of roads in the low, medium and high density suburbs of the capital which are now dilapidated, characterised by potholes.

This is coming at a time the country is in the second year of rehabilitation of main road networks across the country. The roads had become impassable and eyesores.

There are dosages of hope that the country is not doomed after all given the roads and infrastructural developments we have been seeing since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took office in the popularly supported November 2017 coup.

Infrastructural development, roads rehabilitation included, is critical in attracting both domestic and foreign investments. An excellent infrastructure is the backbone of economic revival and the government must press on that score.

In the past two years we have witnessed a massive overhaul of many highways and rural roads — a move that has been long overdue, but nevertheless very welcome.

Mhona’s ministry has availed resources to speed up the revamping of the roads.

The move by the ministry is warmly welcomed given how pathetic our road network throughout the country had become. Our major highways had become very narrow to accommodate the ever increasing volumes of vehicular traffic.

 We have witnessed numerous accidents as a result of poor roads and as a result of a combination of factors, among them economic sanctions, we have over the years failed to rehabilitate the roads. They had become death threats!

Major roads projects being worked on include the dualisation of Harare-Beitbridge, Harare-Chirundu, Harare-Nyamapanda, Mutare-Harare and the rehabilitation of Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highways.

We are thrilled the government intends to dualise some of the roads in the country and that it is working hard to revive the National Railways of Zimbabwe. Infrastructural development, like roads, would spur economic revival.

It was also pleasing to hear the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) saying 95 percent of its revenue would be ploughed into roads rehabilitation. This is what taxpayers want to hear, not scandal after scam Zinara had been associated with over the years.

The new board headed by the youthful George Manyaya must ensure our roads are smooth to minimise road carnage. Posterity will judge them harshly if they fail on the score.