JAIROS SAUNYAMA VILLAGERS in Maramba-Pfungwe have blasted Transport and Infrastructure Development officials over the slow progress in the rehabilitation of Murewa-Madichecha road which began several years ago.
The villagers vented their anger of government officials following a visit to the area by the Transport and Infrastructure Development parliamentary portfolio committee.
A number of government officials, amongst them cabinet ministers had been invited to witness the construction of the road despite that there was no progress made for the past five years.
Maramba-Pfungwe is a traditional Zanu PF stronghold with villagers accusing government officials of neglecting them as well as lying that the road is being attended to while there is stagnation on the ground.
“We thought by this time we would be enjoying travelling along this road like any other citizen. The truth is nothing is being done at all to upgrade this Madichecha road. The bridges are a disaster. Since 1980 when we attained independence there has been no meaningful road rehabilitation in this area. We have been seeing contractors being dispatched here on the pretext of upgrading the road but there is no progress at all.
“The villagers are asking why the government which they voted for is failing to honour them. We will remove the MPs from power thinking that they are failing. But the truth is that the government is ignoring this road which is crucial to us. Those being sent to work on the road are not doing anything; they spend time chasing young women. At their workplaces you see nappies on the washing line, there is nothing taking place here,” a female villager told MPs.
The villagers said investors have been shunning the Maramba-Pfungwe area because of poor road networks, hence underdevelopment.
Maramba-Pfungwe legislator Tichaona Karimazondo (Zanu PF) told the parliamentarians that Madichecha road last got attention in 1990.
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Various contractors have been contracted to upgrade the road from Mutawatawa to Mazowe Bridge but with no meaningful progress resulting in villagers appealing to the government.
Madichecha Road, if completed, will link Mashonaland East and Central provinces.
Transport Portfolio committee chairperson Oscar Gorerino admitted that there was no progress at all in the construction of the road and that government officials have been giving false reports contrary to what is on the ground.
“The reports that we get in parliament from the Transport Ministry indicate that this bridge is completed, they lie to the President that there is positive progress on this road. We have come here to witness it so that we see who is lying – the government officials or you the villagers. We will see who is responsible for this delay, this is the same thing in Mukumbura, there is no progress at all as compared to the reports we get,” Gorerino said.
Headman Tsiga from Maramba Ward 16 said the government should investigate the contractors accusing them of misusing the disbursements.