Mukudzei Chingwere recently in Gokwe
Government has opened a shorter route that links Harare and Victoria Falls under the Emergency State Roads Rehabilitation Programme.
The Harare-Kwekwe-Gokwe Chirisa-Cross Dete to Victoria Falls Road was completed recently, giving travellers an option rather than go the longer way via Bulawayo.
Government is on course to finish the rehabilitation of the national road network before the commencement of the rains under the Emergency State Roads Rehabilitation Programme, a senior official at the District Development Fund (DDF) has said.
Government is currently on the second phase of rehabilitating the road network after extensive damage by Cyclone Dineo-induced rains early this year, the same official said.
President Mugabe earlier in the year declared the roads a State of Emergency, paving way for financial resource mobilisation.
DDF national deputy director planning Philemon Mubvumi said the Zireva-Huchu-Masakadza Road in Gokwe South was the shortest route that links Victoria Falls and Harare.
The road that links the capital and the grand tourist attraction is 875 kilometres, but the new route opened by DDF will be approximately 780km, about 100km less.
“The new road has a lot of economic value to the country as it also links with Chirisa Game Reserve,” said Mr Mubvumbi. “We expect to finish the whole project before the start of the rainy season.”
Government finished construction of Pohwe Bridge on the new road in 1998, but the road was not being used as the access to the bridge was left undone.
Last week, DDF opened the new road expected to bring a lot of economic activity to the people of Gokwe and other surrounding areas.
Chirisa Game Reserve has also been under-utilised because of the poor road infrastructure.
DDF Midlands provincial coordinator Mrs Molly Shoniwa said the opening of the road and a number of roads that were being rehabilitated in her province would bring positive results, especially in agriculture.