Potholes: Where are the authorities?

GRUDGINGLY, I pay taxes, toll gates and whatever the government throws my way and in return I expect top notch service delivery not potholes, oops cesspits on the roads.

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floods.

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The rains that pounded the country for the past three weeks have just exposed how ill-prepared the powers-that-be are in dealing with simple issues like potholes.

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Now on every road in Zimbabwe whether on the highway or in the old suburbs, potholes have evolved into being open craters large enough to turn into fishponds; some call them pot wells or dams depending with the size.

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In the past few weeks, vehicles have been damaged and although there is an option to sue the inefficient local authorities that avenue is oft too long and arduous, not to mention it being expensive.

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Regardless of the cost, it is worth the while to drag all those in charge of infrastructure in potholed-Zimbabwe to the courts to pay for damages to our vehicles.

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And there is the frightening spectre of accidents leading to loss of life.

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Does our government, that is preoccupied with retaining political power by all means necessary, wish to see blood in order to deal with the undeniable menace of the numerous potholes festooned albeit disorderly on our roads?

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Volunteers have sprouted everywhere filling the potholes, but the sands they are using are just not good enough and are quickly washed away by the rains.

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In the wake of all this, the government has been inexplicably silent — at least reminding all and sundry that the country is cruising on autopilot.

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Instead of addressing the menace of potholes — the broke government continues to hike tollgates, seriously?

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Do these men and women we entrusted with governing really sleep at night! I wonder, but then I am reminded that in their fancy cars they hardly get to navigate through the murderous potholes when they go to their posh homes in the northern suburbs.

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I wonder whether the road leading to President Robert Mugabe’s house in Borrowdale or his neighbourhood is potholed like the streets of Mkoba, Budiriro, Chitungwiza, Mucheke, Dombotombo, Luveve, Mkoba or Sakubva.

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A visit by the presidency to the affected areas is indeed long overdue, what if the president visits his old home in Highfield, he would definitely get a feel of our daily plight alas in damaging volumes, that is if you add to the sewage, the electricity blackouts, the heaps of uncollected rubbish, water woes and hordes of the unemployed.

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In most high density suburbs, what remains on the roads are islands of tarred areas and it is a battle to drive, walk or worse still jog in these places.

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That potholes are an evil to motorists is real and that they are everywhere is also a fact. What is the government doing?

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Since 1980 when the country obtained its independence, a few upgrades have been made to the sprawling urban suburbs.

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The government has dismally failed to anticipate, plan and tackle the increase in volumes of vehicles on our roads.

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Rapid urbanisation has just served to expose the ineptitude of our leaders, it is an open secret that we have not seen any major upgrades to our roads since the 1980s, and resultantly the infrastructure has collapsed leading to potholes and sometimes streams forming in the middle of the roads.

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A potholed country!