AN unidentified motorist, who was driving a BMW X5 with a South African registration
escaped death by a whisker on Tuesday when his vehicle hit a damaged grid, near
Mtandawenema turn-off along Gwanda-Garanyemba Road.
A witness told this reporter that the vehicle was approaching the grid from Garanyemba side
before hitting the damaged grid and lost control.
The driver veered to the opposite side and landed on the roadside ditch and fortunately no-
one died as a result of the accident.
These grids have been neglected for a long time and they have outlived their lifespan.
Contacted for comment on what measures will be taken by the Ministry of Transport and
Infrastructure Development, Provincial Roads Engineer Nkomo said they would patch up the
damaged section with cement because they don’t have resources.
“Currently, we do not have adequate resources to remove the grids and reinstate the damaged
area. However, as a provisional solution, we will fill the damaged areas with concrete.
At the moment we are in the process of procuring cement for the proposed intervention,” said
Proportional Representative Gwanda South MP, Sipho Mokone said the Ministry of Roads
should attend to the grid as a matter of urgency.
“I am surprised this road from Gwanda to Manama has been neglected to this extent, yet it is
one of the busiest roads in Gwanda South.
“These grids are more than 40 years old, meaning that they have outlived their lifespan. I will
take this concern direct to the Minister of Roads so that they can act fast and attend to this
problem,” said MP Mokone.
All the seven grids from the turn-off Mapane right up to Mutandawenena turn-off are in a
deplorable state and in need of attention, while the Mawane stretch right up to Ntepe Bridge
now needs a total road reconstruction because the potholes are no longer repairable.
The road is in such a bad state despite the fact that the Government has prioritised the
construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of roads and bridges countrywide.
Motorists, who were interviewed, complained bitterly about the state of this State road.
“I ply the Gwanda-Manama route on a daily basis because that is where I get money to put
food on my table, but the state of the road is a total nightmare.
“I attend to the suspension of my car twice a month and at times tyres burst due to massive
potholes at Mawane area.
“As motorists we are appealing to the relevant road authorities to come to our rescue,”
appealed a pirate taxi driver, who preferred to remain anonymous.