BORROWDALE residents have expressed delight at the ongoing repairs and upgrading being undertaken on Luna Road in the suburb under the Government’s Emergency Road Repairs Programme.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday this week, Harare North Member of the National Assembly Mr Allan Markham paid tribute to Government for the repair and upgrading on Luna Road under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Fund.
Luna Road is currently being repaired and upgraded from a country lane to a broad tarred road. However, Mr Markham said he was still to receive a list of the roads earmarked for repairs and upgrading under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) despite requesting the information three months ago.
“I asked the question to the Minister and he replied, which is captured in the Hansard that the list was being printed and would be sent to us.
“To date, nothing has been received. My reason for asking the question was to set in contract the roads that were to be redone so there was no argument about which roads were being done. I also went to City of Harare requesting for the same information and to date, nothing has been received,” said Mr Markham.
The legislator said the councillors in the area and him as the Member of Parliament should have been consulted on the roads to be repaired or upgraded.
“I and my councillors have not been consulted on these roads. To my great delight, I saw that Luna Road was being repaired and upgraded from a country lane to a broad tarred road. I also see on that road that no tender was flighted at all, to my knowledge,” he said.
The MP said if they were consulted they would have pointed out which roads to prioritise based on need. My concern with Luna Road being chosen is that Borrowdale Road and Crowhill Road, which have thousands of potholes have been ignored while Luna Road only has hundreds of potholes.
“On Borrowdale Road, we have had to arrange a body box for the police to collect all the road accidents. The problem with Borrowdale Road is that pedestrians and cyclists are not mentioned in the media, it is only recognisable when accidents occur on that road.
“All I have asked on Borrowdale Road to reduce accidents is for rumble strips to be put at Winchendon (near Borrowdale Police Station) but up to now, there is nothing.
“My concern is, what criteria is being used for the Emergency Repair Road Fund and also for that matter, for the devolution funds, what criteria is being used to select them? How can we select (smaller) roads and ignore big roads at the expense of the majority?”
Mr Markham said they also needed to be assisted on how donors willing to help with road repairs could go about the process.
“Similarly, at the intersection of Enterprise Road (now Emmerson Mnangagwa Road) and Ridgeway, we have a donor who is prepared to put up robots at no cost, all he wants is the advertising rights on one billboard on that intersection. For six months, I have been unable to get an answer from the City of Harare, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Transport.
“My humble request to the ministries involved is that they put it right so that we can go ahead, either that or they come to this House and give us an explanation on how these roads are selected and tendered for. It is not only in my constituency in Hatcliffe but the whole of Harare and rural areas where Members of Parliament and councillors are not consulted on the roads. We cannot continue doing that to suit some people at the expense of the majority. “My point and of great irritation is that in 15 years, Hatcliffe, which is also in Harare North and not that far has not had 1m2 of tar laid.
“I have had a donor since the beginning of the year to upgrade one road in Hatcliffe for two kilometers to gravel road status and for nine months, I have been unable to get the City of Harare or Local Government to supply me a surveyor to oversee the job.”
In response, the Acting Speaker Tatenda Mavetera said in some cases the Government might implement emergency programmes.
“My understanding is that we have got three arms of the State and when the Executive comes in with a certain road rehabilitation plan that they have, I believe it is quite in isolation. They can be able to do that since they are another arm of the State,” she said.
Acting Speaker Mavetera said she hoped the Executive will in future consult the MP on programmes in his constituency.
She added that the MP could also make use of the Constituency Development Fund to bankroll projects in his constituency.
“I believe that since you have got those funds, why are you not be able to utilise that under the CDF plan that you have as a Constituency MP? Of course, it is worthwhile that at least even when the Executive comes, they can then be able to consult you.
“ I am sure they have heard that point of privilege and I am sure they will put everything in order so that you can also be consulted,” said the Acting Speaker.
She said Parliament would remind Transport Minister Felix Mhona to provide the list of roads undergoing repairs.
“The other issue was on making sure that you need a list from the Honourable Minister. I am sure since you requested for it, it will be good for us to remind him so that he brings it to the House and you can find out the list of the roads which are supposed to be eligible on the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Fund.”