Govt pushes for mandatory jail term for road asset vandals

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Govt pushes for mandatory jail term for road asset vandals 
Minister Felix Mhona

Trust Freddy 

Herald Correspondent 

Government is pushing for a mandatory jail term to be imposed on all road asset vandals as part of deterrent measures to protect the country’s road infrastructure. 

Road vandalism has become a major scourge in the country, with thieves targeting critical infrastructure such as road signs, guardrails, reflective studs and bridges.

Responding to questions in Parliament last week, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona, condemned the senseless destruction of road assets, vowing to take stern action against perpetrators. 

“We have people who are criminals in this country. We are busy developing the country while some are busy vandalising our infrastructure. May we have a certain sentence for those people who vandalise so that we can maintain our infrastructure? Even some of our road marks, especially the reflectors that we put on the roads are vandalised.

“I do not know where we are, but it is our request as a ministry that we should have a sentence and that wherever we go, we should conscientise each other not to vandalise our infrastructure,” Minister Mhona told the Parliament.

Minister Mhona said the irresponsible act was derailing the country’s efforts to improve road infrastructure, adding that all culprits should face the full wrath of the law.

“We have some artisanal miners who even dig underneath the roads or rails and in so doing, vandalising our resources. The same applies to the bridges, they go to vandalise some of the components there and sell them. This is a matter of concern to us as a country and we cannot allow that to continue.”

The destruction of these vital assets does not only compromise road safety but also hinders the Government’s efforts to improve the country’s transportation network.

Thieves are putting lives at risk by stealing reflective road studs from newly-built roads in Harare and the Harare-Beitbridge highway, sparking concerns over the safety of motorists and pedestrians on the affected road stretches.

A survey carried out by The Herald yesterday, uncovered that the reflective studs installed along Willowvale Road last year have vanished.

The thieves are reportedly hunting for aluminium that is used in making reflective studs. The studs are melted and the aluminium sold to scrap metal dealers.