Construction Of Mutirikwi Bridges Finally Commences After Years Of Procrastination
The government has considered the call by Masvingo community members to prioritize the construction of the Mutirikwe Bridge.
In the year 2019, speaking during a community dialogue meeting organized by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), the community members of Masvingo central ward 16 and 18 raised a concern about the need for a bridge at Mutirikwe River.
COTRAD peace structures have been continuously engaging ward 16 Mr. Demba, and Mr. Tandandi Ward 18 who were the councilor before the 2023 harmonized elections over the priority.
The council was continuously engaged by these 2 former councilors to construct the bridge over the past years. They even proposed the council to channel the 2020 plough back toward bridge construction but nothing materialized, the amount was too little. The council in 2021, managed to sit down during council meetings and do budget projections and concluded that it has no capacity to construct the bridge.
Masvingo central ward 16 and 18 public officials, therefore engaged the government and its Ministries to construct the Mutirikwe Bridge. They profiled transport challenges, the impact they had on accessing the referral hospitals, the effects on school children not attending school lessons during rainy seasons at Zivezano and Shonganiso, many have lost their lives in trying to cross the flooded river, and also that, people are long using long routes to travel to Masvingo CBD and other local communities. After the serious engagements by the public officials led by councilors Demba and Tandandi, the government has managed to take over and declared the construction of the bridge a National project. The pegging of the Mutirikwe Bridge has already started. One of the community members said, “I am pleased with the step taken by the government to peg the bridge hoping the construction will progress well”. A community committee responsible for the bridge construction was set up and the committee will lead all the processes and give updates to the community.
The COTRAD peace structures are playing a pivotal role in spearheading developments in the communities and the community applauded the work being done by COTRAD of equipping the peace structures and other community members with engagement skills which are improving interactions between duty bearers and the electorates as well as improving community development projects.
COTRAD encouraged Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) to respond and provide key social services accessible. Section 276 of the constitution states that the council should raise sufficient revenue for them to carry out their objectives and responsibilities in areas of their jurisdiction.
The pictures below show the pegging of the Mutirikwe Bridge in progress…