from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – RESIDENTS in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, are suing the government over some defective flyovers.
The residents, through their association, Harare Residents Trust (HRT) are seeking a High Court order to compel Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, to rectify the defects on the city’s flyovers located along Simon Mazorodze road, Lytton road and Fidel Castro road within 90 days of the granting of the court order.
They want to ensure that the flyovers are safe for use by road users.
HRT also wants the High Court to declare that Mhona’s conduct in failing to rectify the defects on the three flyovers to be a contravention of residents’ right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being as enshrined in section 73(1) of the Constitution.
Through the application filed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, HRT together with Loreen Mupesa, a resident of Harare, who said she frequently uses roads located on the flyovers, argued that as the official responsible for maintenance and rehabilitation of roads in Zimbabwe, Mhona has a duty to safeguard people’s lives by ensuring that roads are safe in the country.
HRT and Mupesa protested that Mhona had not attended to fixing the defects, which were noted on the flyovers several years ago and this had exposed the flyovers to the risk of collapse and thereby endangering the lives of members of the public.
According to HRT and Mupesa, the defects on the three flyovers were identified by officials from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and City of Harare, who conducted a joint inspection and these are contained in a report, which the officials produced in 2012.
Some of the defects, which were noted and are listed in the joint report include spalling of concrete on bottom flanges of beams on edges, severe corrosion to reinforcement steel, visible cracks along the centerline deck, severely damaged expansion joints, excessive vibration of superstructure, poor drainage of super structure, water leaking on expansion joints and longitudinal cracks.
Mhona’s ministry had in 2021 acknowledged the existence of the defects on the flyovers and had undertaken to rectify them, to no avail.
– CAJ News