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Govt blames a river for causing Skyline-Chimanimani highway accident (PICTURES)

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  • ... But Government critics laid blame on corruption, poor workmanship and looting of public resources.

By Nompumelelo Sibanda

A MOTORIST died on the spot yesterday when the Skyline – Chimanimani highway gave in and almost swallowed the Honda Fit vehicle as driving in.

The road collapse happened just after Charter Bridge.

While some Zimbabweans blame poor workmanship and use of substandard materials for road construction, Government says the fault lies with a nearby river.

In November last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially commissioned the Skyline – Chimanimani highway following a post-Cyclone Idai disaster reconstruction work by a local contractor.

The highway, which has since survived recent tropical storms, however collapsed after Charter Bridge, resulting in the death of a person who was driving to Chimanimani.

Speaking about the disaster, Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said a nearby river changed course and undermined the road.

“Manicaland Provincial Roads Engineer Atherton Zindoga advises that an upstream river changed its course and undermined the Skyline-Chimanimani highway which collapsed and claimed the life of one person. May their soul rest in eternal peace,” said Mangwana.

Engineer Zindoga attributed the collapse to the incessant rains being received in the district and dismissed speculations of poor workmanship by the contractor.

“There was an upstream river which changed its course of flow and forced its way underneath the road surface resulting in the collapse. The contractor did not work on this section because it was not affected what they just did was surfacing,” he explained to a State-owned ZBC crew.

“Our heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s family. As a ministry we are going to lobby for resources to monitor and inspect our roads so that if preventable, such incidents should not happen again and claim lives,” said Zindoga.

But Government critics laid blame on corruption, poor workmanship and looting of public resources.

“This tragic loss of life in Zimbabwe due to terrible workmanship when building roads is UNACCEPTABLE!” said journalist and political activist Hopewell Chin’ono.

“We need to rethink the way our roads are constructed as they are now easily damaged by the heavy rains. Loads of money is LOOTED and a poor job is done.

“Look at Rhodesian roads and how they were built to last, they invested in infrastructure not in private bank accounts in Mauritius or South Africa!

“This is what I mean when I say looting kills innocent lives! This is a one year old road!” said Chin’ono. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺

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