02 Feb 2017 - MASVINGO - Mayor Hubert Fidze last week drew the ire of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Joramu Gumbo for criticising the government's pre-occupation with pothole-filling which the mayor said was not a solution as most roads had exceeded their life-span.
At an engagement meeting at Chevron Hotel, Fidze criticised government for not doing enough to maintain national roads and to help local authorities to refurbish municipal roads.
He told Gumbo that his council was in favour of complete resurfacing of the city's old road infrastructure.
"We at Masvingo city council do not believe in pothole patching but total road re-sealing. Zinara should disburse funds to us for resealing not to just blame us for the poor state of the roads.
"We have managed to record successes in rehabilitating roads despite our political differences because we are united; we don't put politics ahead of development," Fidze said.
Gumbo, however, reprimanded the mayor for diverging from the meeting's core business which he said was to emphasise good relationships between council managements, councillors and legislators.
"We do not want to divert this visit to something different…so sorry mayor to tell you that before you complain about the little Zinara is giving you, please account for what you are doing with funds acquired from pre-paid parking.
"Also account for the little you have received from Zinara. Do not just complain but, show us results," retorted a miffed Gumbo.
"There is nothing like unity as long as people from different political sides meet, so please don't lie to us. We have been in politics for long and we know what happens. All you have said is not part of my agenda here for I am here to ensure that the three stakeholders I noted earlier on work together so that development is easy to implement," Gumbo added.
The meeting was attended among others by MPs and rural council CEOs who complained about how their roads were in shambles and how Zinara funds were not coming.
Gumbo was however quick to defend himself saying responsible authorities should encourage their residents not to evade toll gates so that Zinara can raise more revenue.news