BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
GOVERNMENT will need three years to rehabilitate its worn-out road network, Transport minister Felix Mhona told Parliament on Wednesday.
Mhona said the road rehabilitation programme would involve cutting grass, storm drain clearance and pothole-filling, which would be conducted in four phases and be completed in February 2024.
Government recently promulgated Statutory Instrument (SI) 47 to facilitate the takeover of road rehabilitation from councils after most roads were damaged due to excessive rains received this year.
It also declared the Department of Roads an essential service provide under lockdown conditions to enhance maintenance of the road network.
Early this year, government declared the country’s roads a state of national disaster.
“Our roads are no longer business as usual. Let me hasten to say that we are now faced with the enemy of the State of our roads which, therefore, calls for urgent attention from everyone. We also want to move with speed in implementing this programme, the emergency road rehabilitation programme phase two. It is going to run from now until February 2024 and there are four phases,” Mhona said.
He said government would prioritise the most damaged roads, adding that to enhance accountability and transparency, the ministry would publicise the targeted roads and their budgets.
“We are going to have the costs attached to those roads so that there is an element of accountability as enshrined in our Constitution. We have already started pothole-filling on some roads, but the best way forward is to refill and resurface roads so that we then address the damage that had been witnessed.”