Skewed policies retard Harare development 

Source: Skewed policies retard Harare development | The Standard

JUST like during the late former president Robert Mugabe’s era, the leadership style remains a threat to good governance in the new dispensation.

Development issues


Policy implementation and good governance are dove-tailed, and Zimbabwe had since post-independence policy-related impediments to the attainment of good governance.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has failed to develop the road network system in line with the Vision 2030 agenda as it implements policies that hamper the attainment of good governance.

With the growing population in urban areas, mainly in Harare, and the increased numbers of motorists, the government must enact policies that promote urbanisation and change management.

Harare is the capital and the most populous city in the country. It is believed to be the primate city. The capital city has an estimated  population of 2,1 million people according to the 2012 census and an estimated 3,1 million in its metropolitan area in 2019.

Traffic congestion continues to cause chaotic environments in Harare, a situation where traffic lights are no longer useful, especially during the “rush hour”.

The government blamed fuel availability in response to the pictures circulated on social media showing traffic jams at the Mbudzi roundabout and the ever-busy Seke Road. However, Harare City Council had to give a different perspective blaming police roadblocks through its Twitter handle @cohsunshinecity in response to complaints raised on congestion in the capital city.

“Council has requested ZRP to remove its roadblock just after the Mbudzi roundabout because it is causing congestion at the busy traffic circle,” council tweeted.

Fuel availability as claimed by Cabinet ministers has nothing to do with congestion that has become a menace across the capital city and its environs.

First world countries have more than enough fuel, but cars can still move around with ease.

Traffic jams are getting out of hand in the city, staying to the left lane when driving is now an old law of Rhodesia.

In this era, why is it one small boiling pot where pedestrians still compete with motorists at malfunctioning traffic lights that need rehabilitation as a matter of urgency?

Solar-powered traffic lights that are now the best choice for major traffic control can help traffic management in Zimbabwe.

Apart from saving energy, solar-powered traffic lights also help to reduce maintenance and replacement costs. This solution can help the government to create awareness among the public and will be a major step towards a greener environment.

I think the Mbuya Nehanda statue that was erected at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way at a time when Zimbabwe is still battling with economic challenges in the middle of a Covid-19 pandemic could have been erected to reduce congestion between pedestrians and motorists.

Samora Machel Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Harare since it links the Bulawayo and Mutare roads. There are also banks along the street that attract large volumes of people and traffic.

I think the Mbuya Nehanda statue could have been erected as a footbridge apart from attracting local and foreign tourists as claimed by the government.

Was it necessary?

Yes, it was a good idea, but wrong timing. It would have been better when a misplaced priority that sucked the little cents from the broke government was used as a footbridge for urbanisation and change management, at some point to alleviate congestion between pedestrians and motorists in Harare CBD.

  • Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in his own capacity. For feedback email: or call 0719770038 or Twitter @EvansMathanda19