BEITBRIDGE councillors have resisted the development of a road they say had “jumped the queue”, because it does not serve residents.
The road links the Shule Shule Shopping Centre, goes past a proposed swimming pool belonging to one of the town’s senior engineering managers, through an unpopulated area and goes behind both Vhembe and Dulivhadzimo secondary schools, and not benefitting them directly.
Beitbridge town clerk Loud Ramagkapola confirmed that the councillors rejected the development during council debate.
“Something like that was said, with an argument that the road was supposed to continue from where it was left; the route where people are, but they are yet to resolve the issue,” Ramagkapola said yesterday.
Finance committee chairperson and ward 5 councillor Granger Nyoni said councillors felt the proposal to develop a road that passed through an unpopulated area amounted to misdirection of resources.
“It seems resources were channelled towards a more personal project than what would benefit the majority of the people council should serve. Further, that is not the original plan of the council that came in even before us, which was Zanu PF, so there is an amount of abuse of privilege by those who recommended that road against policymakers’ wishes,”
“Officials should follow policymakers’ recommendations and we are saying our predecessors, the councillors who were here before us, saw the road that benefitted people even if they are not from my party,” he said.
The road proposed by the previous council passes past the district hospital and the other part loops near the Dulivhadzimo bus terminus near a primary health care centre.
Last week, in a video posted on social media, Beitbridge mayor Morgan Ncube appealed to residents to be patient with his local authority.
“We will be gravelling the roads and replacing burst sewer pipes and the ultimate goal is to overhaul these systems in line with our vision,” Ncube said.
“Heads will roll at council if we are not able to deliver on this, I can assure you,” Ncube said in an interview confirming his broadcast video.
Following heavy rains, most Beitbridge roads have been eroded due to unserviced drainage system in the larger residential section of the town with an estimated 60 000 people.
Beitbridge is also in dire need of sewer system upgrade, outgrown by demand, while residents in new suburbs are unhappy with the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, which has failed to connect them to the national grid.
Some residents have lived for more than 12 years in completed houses without water and electricity, as officials blamed the delay on lack of resources to address the situation.