CHIREDZI - Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Shuvai Ben Mahofa has blamed government for neglecting Chilonga and Mwenezi bridges in Chiredzi district saying the derelict bridges were slowing development in the area.
Speaking at the commissioning of road equipment at Chiredzi Rural District Council by the Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage Abednigo Ncube last week, Mahofa said conservancies like Malilangwe Trust can be made to upgrade the bridges.
"We have conservancies here in Chiredzi which are owned by those who refused to leave the country in 1980. We should have forced them to construct those bridges because they have a lot of money," said Mahofa.
She also blamed the government for misusing the resources in Chiredzi that she said if they had been properly utilised, local authorities would long have been able to build better bridges in place of what is currently there.
"This is one of the biggest councils in Zimbabwe which has many resources although the government takes some through taxes as has been highlighted before. If they were in control of these resources, they could have constructed the bridge themselves," said Mahofa.
Turning to Ncube, Mahofa said there was need to enable council to create Private/Public Partnerships (PPPs) to solve some of the country's development challenges.
"Minister I want you to tell President Mugabe that the council can do it through their Public Private Partnerships. We once wrote to him about that. Let's give responsibility to those with the problem. I think they can solve it faster than anyone else," she said.
The narrow and low Chilonga Bridge across the wide Runde River easily gets flooded in the rain season forcing villagers to use unsafe makeshift boats. Many lives have also been lost as desperate people tried to cross the bridge while it was flooded.local