Harare-Chirundu Highway now a death trap
The Harare-Chirundu highway, which connects several southern African countries, is now dilapidated and has become a death trap, according to motorists who frequent the road.
The highway connects South Africa and Zimbabwe to Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, among other countries, and facilitates trade in the region, reported The NewsHawks.
The state of the road now poses many problems for travellers which include damage to car tyres, damage to vehicles, slowing down movement and business, and increasing accidents.
Ronald Kabeta, a commuter omnibus driver plying the Karoi-Harare route, told the publication that driving on the road, especially at night has become a nightmare. He said:
Of late, many travellers have been forced to park and sleep along the highway, especially when travelling during the night, after hitting dangerous potholes that are now a permanent feature along the way. The road is now dilapidated due to potholes and old lifespan.
The road is now badly dilapidated; it is now a death trap. It’s difficult to navigate. It’s really dangerous.
With the current rains which have filled the potholes and eroded the road, some cars have been left on roadsides due to tyre punctures, malfunctioning engines affected by water and damages by the road dilapidation.
Chamu Gomo, a Karoi resident, has implored the government to repair the road as a matter of urgency. He said: It is no longer advisable to overtake during the night along that highway as you may plunge into a pothole filled with water.
The road has collapsed, causing disasters and we wonder if the government has plans to quickly fix this road urgently as senior officials use it when they visit Kariba resort town for meetings or holidays.
When driving at night, never try to overtake because cars in front of you will be blinding you from seeing the potholes.
Speeding is dangerous on a potholed road like the Harare-Chirundu highway.
Kariba Tourism and Business Indaba administrator Cephas Shonhiwa said the bad state of the Harare-Chirundu highway is now negatively affecting tourism. Shonhiwa said:
The Harare-Chirundu highway is now a big issue as it has been neglected for far too long. With the continued rains and potholes, our clients are badly affected.
A poor road network is one of our challenges as a sector. We are appealing to the government to act on repairing the potholes along the highway as we don’t have any scheduled flights from Harare to Kariba for business travellers.
Without scheduled flights to both Kariba and Chirundu, the only mode of travel is by road which is in extremely bad shape.
The tourism sector is suffering from cancellation of bookings due to the road that is not easily accessible. This has a huge negative impact on economic growth in the sector. In early 2021, the government declared all roads to be a state of “national disaster”. Soon after that, a second Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP II) was launched.
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