Zimbabwe’s Roads Face Increased Risk Amidst Concerns Over Amateurish Construction and Hiring Practices
Harare – Zimbabwe’s road safety is under scrutiny as the Mbudzi Roundabout construction faces criticism for its amateurish execution. The road authority, Zinara, is accused of exacerbating the problem by hiring low-skilled experts, leading to heightened risks on the nation’s roads.
Disturbing statistics from the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) reveal a dire situation. A staggering 38,482 road accidents occurred in the first nine months of this year alone, resulting in 1,545 deaths and 7,294 injuries. Shockingly, an accident transpires every 15 minutes in the country.
TSCZ Managing Director, Mr. Munesu Munodawafa, expressed concern, emphasizing that accidents peak during public holidays. From 2015 to 2022, 14,600 people lost their lives, and 74,000 were injured in road accidents. This year, over 1,500 fatalities were recorded from more than 38,400 accidents nationwide.
The festive season exacerbates the issue, with heightened travel levels and risky behaviors. Studies indicate that excitement and the festive atmosphere contribute to reckless driving, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The TSCZ calls for urgent measures, including transforming into a Traffic Safety Agency with the power to enforce arrests for road regulation infringements. Additionally, speed limits on buses, which often exceed 140 kilometers per hour, transporting more than 60 passengers, are deemed necessary. Collaboration with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, media, and stakeholders is underway to raise awareness.
Mr. Munodawafa urges the government to operationalize the Road Accident Fund promptly. The dire situation demands immediate action to curb the alarming road carnage plaguing Zimbabwe.- Agencies