Government intends to dualise the Harare-Chirundu road following indications that most of the country’s fatal accidents occur along the busy road.
Feasibility studies have already begun while villagers in the Makuti area, situated along the highway, are lobbying for the construction of a clinic near an area that is now infamously being referred to as “Wafa-Wafa” due to the prevalence of fatal accidents that occur on that stretch of the road.
The Permanent Secretary for Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, said plans to dualise the road were at an advanced stage.
“Feasibility studies are under way and there are a number of measures we will implement to deal with the Makuti black spot.
“We appreciate the concerns of the residents of Makuti and our pledge to them is that they will be seeing positive developments within the coming few months.
“However, we would like to appeal to our motorists to bear in mind that our country is emerging from a difficult economic period where funds for the dualisation of all roads were not easily available,” he said.
While Government forges ahead with dualisation plans, the Kariba District Traffic Consultative Committee is advocating the construction of a clinic close to the 301km peg.
In a letter to the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ), the committee argues the clinic would ensure accident victims are given prompt medical attention.
“We appeal for your office to build a clinic at Makuti. This has been necessitated by the fact that most fatal and serious accidents are occurring at the dangerous 301km peg along the Harare-Chirundu road, infamously known as the ‘Wafa-Wafa’ black spot, yet the clinic is 41km away at Nyamakate,” reads part of the letter.
In an interview last week, TSCZ managing director Mr Obio Chinyere disclosed that they had agreed to help build the clinic.
“As the TSCZ, we are refurbishing a clinic at Makuti so that those who would have been involved in an accident would have easy access to medical facilities,” he said.
Villagers in Makuti last week told The Sunday Mail that efforts to dualise the road must be expedited.
“People are dying along this road everyday. If the authorities cannot dualise this road, we urge them to widen the existing one as a short-term measure,” said Mr Robson Nyatoti.
Mr Absolom Mutyavaviri, a haulage truck driver who last week escaped death by a whisker after his vehicle veered off the road near “Wafa-Wafa”, echoed the same sentiments.
“I would have been dead had I been speeding. This road is always busy and something needs to be done lest more people lose life here,” he said.
Recent statistics show that over 2 000 people perished on the country’s roads last year.
Of the 1 980 accidents recorded last year, 243 occurred at the black spot.