By Staff Reporter
Three-quarters of the country’s roads, both in urban and rural have become death traps following neglect from responsible authorities, the situation has been further worsened by heavy rains which pounded during the previous rain season.
Mabvuku legislator James Maridadi last week on Wednesday exposed a company called Bitumen World which he accused of doing shoddy work after having been fraudulently awarded contracts to do road maintenance.
Maridadi queried from the speaker of parliament, “Hon. Minister, have you observed that the roads that are being constructed by BITUMEN, about two weeks later, it will be having potholes. This is common knowledge to most of the motorists that are on the roads. The road to Dzivarasekwa is the one that I use every week. Last week, it was repaired but today, the same potholes need attention”.
Maridadi accused the company of not doing its work properly and for not using the correct materials.
Deputy Minister of transport Engineer Michael Madanha in his response said there was a need to inspect to see if the work which had been done was up to the correct workmanship so that payment may be withheld if the work is not up to standard.
Eng Madanha expressed ignorance, “I do not believe or expect that this is the type of shoddy work that is being done, that barely three days after the repair, the same problem recurs”.
Maridadi said roads were supposed to be roadworthy for a period spanning five years after construction.
“We are saying that the tender should be given to companies that have the necessary expertise and not your relatives or cousins in the form of BITUMEN that continually have to repair the roads”.
Bitumen World (Pvt) Ltd which started operating in November 2012 is linked to Minister of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Obert Mpofu who is said to be the owner.
Zanu PF proportional representation MP Goodluck Kwaramba had first raised a motion on what the law says on volunteers repairing potholes if they are hit by a car.
Eng Madanha was quick to dismiss that their volunteering had nothing to do with the responsible authorities saying they were neither on their pay role, further accusing them of not using the correct soil.
Madanha demonized the volunteer road repairers, “They are not on any of those authorities pay sheets. So, as they repair the roads, they raise funds from the motorists, which are unlawful”.
In the event of the volunteers being hit by a car, Eng Madanha said it was between the motorists and volunteers to talk.