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Project curb highway deaths

By Rex Mphisa in beitbridge

The government is erecting 323km fence along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo highway in an effort to curb road accidents caused by stray animals such as cattle and donkeys.

Sections of both the Harare and Bulawayo to Beitbridge highways in Matabeleland South account for the highest number of road accidents carnage due to presence of animals coupled with unprotected road sides.

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe the Roads Department will spend $170 million erecting the fence.

Presidential Affairs minister Joram Gumbo on Friday said 130 Beitbridge villagers were contracted for erecting the fence would guard it jealously.

“Your life depends on livestock and it is you who should ensure you guard the fence which will reduce human and animal road deaths,” he said.

Gumbo was speaking at Mtetengwe village, 30km west of Beitbridge where he was assessing the project.

Ward 6 councillor Joseph Muleya equated vandals damaging roads infrastructure to murderers and said such people should be face full wrath of the law.

Muleya said vandals who cut servitude fences or damaged roads caused deaths of motorists and animals alike and were ultimately taking life.

“As such they must be judged like murderers because effectively they are killing people in resultant accidents,” he said.

“Animals are our livelihood and people tough punishment should befall anyone impoverishing others by such actions likely to cause losses of animals,” he said.
Muleya also villagers to guard the fence and be community police for such infrastructure.

“We own the cattle, we own the road and let us also own the fence and guard it jealously,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gumbo said some cabinet ministers misrepresented progress of their departments as successful thereby misleading people.

“Some ministers do not tell the truth when they are reporting to the President and it is my role to monitor their work,” he said.

“I have been touring government projects in Matabeleland to see if the reports we receive are factual.
“Ministers report what they do not do.”

Gumbo said for visible progress 100 day targets should be set for easier evaluations.

“Project implementation under the 100 day cycle programme has proven to be an excellent approach for improving Government performance,” he added.

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