Cabinet declares state of roads disaster Minister Monica Mutsvangwa

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
CABINET yesterday declared the country’s road network a state of disaster as most of the roads have become untrafficable following damage by heavy rains being received across the country.

The declaration would trigger mobilisation and the release of funds to attend to the damaged roads.

In light of the heavy rains, Cabinet also warned citizens that the country is at high risk of being hit by floods among other natural disasters.

Presenting the first 2021 post-Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the poor state of the roads was affecting efficient service delivery countrywide.

“Following a presentation on the state of the country’s roads by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo, Cabinet noted that due to extensive damages to roads, some areas have been rendered inaccessible. This state of affairs had adversely affected socio-economic activities such as distribution of food, inputs and delivery of important services. Cabinet has resolved that all roads in the country be declared a state of disaster,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“The declaration would facilitate the release of resources for the repair and rehabilitation of all roads that require such works. The restorative works will cover all urban areas as well as the rural trunk roads. It will also pave way for the standardisation of quality roads under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development. The necessary legal procedures to give effect to the declaration is being worked on.”

She said due to the rains anticipated until the end of the rainy season next month, the public should be on high alert.

“People in malaria-prone areas should take necessary precautions, while those in flood-prone areas should relocate to high ground. Government will continue to institute measures to protect its citizens in the advent of natural hazards,” she said.

The minister said the rains have also exposed the irregular and dysfunctional settlements in local authorities which need immediate addressing.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Government has set up a special taskforce to arrest land barons and officials who were involved in the illegal parcelling of state, municipal and private land to unsuspecting homeseekers.

Some of the homeseekers were allocated land where there are no services such as sewer, water and electricity which is expected with urban dwellers.

“Land barons were working in cahoots with corrupt State and municipal officers and fleecing unsuspecting home-seekers. Also evident is the widespread contamination of watercourses and water bodies, environmental degradation and the destruction of flora and habitats for fauna, and an emerging threat to public health,” said Minister .

She said Cabinet has created a team to correct the illegal settlement situation in urban centres while arresting culprits. — @nqotshili

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