Anorld Dube and Robert Munemo
There is renewed hope for the revival of Mberengwa which used which used to be a hive of activity when Buchwa Iron Mine was operating to full capacity before the formal winding of operations early 2000. The mine was a source of economic activity, employment and connecting the area to development partners hence its closure led to massive negative turn of fortunes not only for the employees but Mberengwa as an area.
The construction of the road which was tarred from Zvishavane to Zvomukonde area near Buchwa Mine with several false starts being made especially as each election period approaches, is finally kicking off in ‘earnest’, if developments on the ground are anything to go by.
According to Mberengwa East Member of Parliament Mark Raidza, the Zvishavane –Rutenga Road, is being constructed under the theme : Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme enunciated by President Emerson Mnangagwa.
The road had become a death trap as road signage are either vandalised or corrugated . To compound the challenges, the road is characterised by numerous rough terrains, hence the government has decided to ease the situation by fast tracking the road rehabilitation through the ERR
Speaking to this publication, the Member of Parliament for Mberengwa West, Mark Raidza confirmed the government’s intention to trigger constituency development through this ERR
“The road is an economy and we looking forward to tap on the hanging fruits in a number of ways, establishing road side support Businesses, easier transportation of our produce to market, easy access of our areas by service providers who were shunning us”, Raidza said
Commenting on the move by the government to rehabilitate the road, one unidentified resident for Mberengwa East, said he is impressed by the move.
“The rehabilitation of this road is overdue. I am so happy with this positive development”.
An upcoming Passenger Transport operator for Buchwa – Zvishavane area, Talent Ndhlela, said the rehabilitation of this road will open up networks of development in Mberengwa Zimbabwe and Southern Africa as well.
“Benefits of this road are immense since it will connect the Buchwa – Ngungumbane area to the largest port of entry in the SADC region and this will inevitably ameliorate lives of thousands”, Ndlera said
A villager under Chief Negove residing in Poland area said that Mberengwa will never be the same again if authorities are serious with the road rehabilitation exercise currently underway.
“Public transport had abandoned this road because it surely wasn’t making sense that every day you see buses breaking down along the road due to the impassable road. We were now relying on the mushika-shika risking our lives because these ex-Japanese sedan cars are just like papers and cannot survive this road. This is a dawn of new era and I a reminiscing about the heydays of Buchwa Mine coming because of a number of opportunities opened by this road. Road network is both an incentive and disincentive for investment because it either escalates the costs of doing business or lessen it. Here we come Mberengwa!.
“I hope they will not start and end with elections because politicians are very shrewd. The timing is suspicious but we hope they have good intentions. Poland shopping centre got Growth Point status and this road has come at the right time when people are building at the centre”, said Admire Zhou.
Zvishavane-Rutenga road is one of main routes which connect the mining city of Zvishavane and the border city of Beitbridge. In terms of development and rehabilitation, the road has been ignored for too long, however, with the ERR launch by the government the hopes are revived