A survey conducted by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) in Zaka district revealed that many gravel roads that link the wards to service centres are appalling, disrupting transport services and access to social services.
The survey revealed that the gravel roads are deteriorating at an alarming pace largely due to lack of maintenance by the Department of District Development Fund (DDF) and the Zaka Rural District Council.
The most affected road is the one that links Chinyaradza Primary School to Zaka main road and Murerekwa Primary School road from Masvingo main road. The residents also highlighted that there is need for bridges at streams that flow across Gwangwava, Mbuyamaswa villages and at Govorwe River. The residents are facing challenges in connecting Gwangwava village to Mbuyamaswa village through Jerera village due to the state of the road. During the rainy season learners at Murerekwa, Chinyaradza, Mashingaidze and Zaka secondary schools from Jerera, Bhumure, Chiongodzi, Mudziviro villages faces challenges to cross Nyatare and Govorwe rivers to attend school.
In Zaka ward 19, the gravel road that links Chipezeze and other surrounding villages to Jerera Growth Point via Muzandawe footbridge is in a bad state. Despite prioritization of some of these roads by the Zaka RDC in 2019 and 2020 budgets, nothing has been done towards road maintenance. COTRAD Peace Club members are engaging public officials and Zaka RDC over the concerns. The Peace Clubs members are also mobilizing the community to compliment the local council in maintaining other roads which include Veza – Jerera road, Jerera – Chilo road and Zaka old road from Chiredzi River side in a bid to access basic services form service centres and Jerera Growth Point.
The residents expressed that due to poor road infrastructure, service delivery and development continues to suffer tremendous setbacks. The continuous abysmal state of road infrastructure requires immediate attention since the road transportation is the commonest means of transportation essential for the service delivery, movement of people and accessibility of local service centres and communities.
COTRAD calls upon the Zaka RDC and public officials to respond to the infrastructure development concerns raised by the people. COTRAD also encourages the villagers to fearlessly and peacefully engage public officials and relevant ministries to present issues affecting their communities. The Zaka RDC should prioritize and attempt to improve services and infrastructure in rural areas. It is enshrined under section 276 of the constitution that the rural district councils should raise sufficient revenue for them to carry out objectives and responsibilities in areas of their jurisdiction.