Maxwell Sibanda 21 May 2018
HARARE – Harare City fathers should spare a thought for motorists and put
markings on the city’s roads which have now become death traps, especially
The markings on our roads in and around the city are no longer visible and
motorists are unknowingly encroaching into other motorists’ lanes.
I do not think it could kill or puncture Harare City Council’s budget if
it were to purchase a few drums of paint to mark the roads.
It is even more dangerous driving at night, more so when it is raining as
visibility diminishes and motorists have to guess where the markings could
While some of the roads have been re-tarred, it is sad that council has
failed to script markings, hence a job half done.
The re-tarred roads are even more dangerous at night as they are now just
a single stretch, hence confusing most motorists.
In certain instances, accidents are the inevitable result.
We hope the mayor and his councillors, most of whom are drivers, will take
time to deliberate on this issue as it needs urgent attention.
While those drivers, who live in Harare and know the roads, can easily
navigate their way – even without markings – it is very difficult for
those drivers coming from outside the city.
The kombis and mushika-shikas have taken advantage of the absence of
markings and they are breaking road rules which results in cars locking at
The city fathers should be reminded that it is their duty to maintain the
city’s roads if Harare is to compete with other African cities.
In other African cities, it is a marvel to drive and road maintenance is
an everyday activity unlike here in Harare where repairs are done after an
We have tourists, businesspeople and other visitors to Harare who should
not have difficulty driving in and around the city’s roads because they do
not have standard markings.
Harare should also learn to be innovative and partner paint companies so
together they implement a project to mark our roads.
We also have city councils that are charging motorists to park in and
around towns and cities, yet even the parking bays from where they are
making a killing, are not visibly marked.
Where is the money charged everyday for parking in the city going to if it
is not being used to improve the capital’s road infrastructure that
We have some drivers who are short-sighted, hence the importance of clear
and visible markings.
I would have thought that after every rainy season, council would repaint
the markings which could have been washed away by the rains.
But it seems most of the markings are years old and the paint has
completely faded off.
It is a pity that even in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 100 days, the
city fathers failed to put paint markings on the roads.
They couldn’t afford to buy a tin of paint?
It is my hope that the new council coming in after this year’s harmonised
elections would have the city at heart and maintain our roads to
acceptable international standards.
There is also need for the council to erect clear road signs on all
strategic roads, this apart from direction signs for in and out of Harare
We need clear signs to direct visitors or tourists who want to travel out
of the city to Kariba, Bulawayo, Mutare or Gokwe.
The city fathers have a lot of work to do sprucing our roads and as I said
earlier, a little paint would not kill!