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The Chronicle

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VILLAGERS in Daluka and Gwampa wards under Kusile Rural District Council (KRDC) have contributed US$2 per homestead to rehabilitate St Luke’s-Lupane road, which has become impassable.

The over 40km road stretch detours from the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road at Kenmaur, past St Luke’s Hospital and goes through six villages before rejoining the main road near Lupane State University campus.

It had been damaged by rains while the stretch near Lupane was cut off due to the construction of Bubi-Lupane dam.

Seeing that two buses that used to ply the route had suspended services resulting in teachers in the local schools transferring to other schools, and that some motorists are taking advantage of the situation to charge US$10 for a short distance of less than 30km to the main road, the community resolved to fix the road.

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Local businessman Mr Njabulo Sibanda who operates a construction company, Njabulo and Addie trading as Stars Painters, is leading the project with Sibangani 1 and 2, Gandangula, Mafinyela, Strip Road and Sivalo village heads. Each village has set up a roads committee and villagers have paid US$2 each through their village heads.

Similar contributions are being made in Gwampa Ward as they use the same road.

“The road was damaged by rains and has not been repaired for some years now since the construction of the dam which diverted part of it.

“So buses that used the road stopped coming and as a result the community is having challenges in accessing basic services. We then sat down and wrote to the RDC which sent an engineer to assess the state of the road and they agreed to provide a grader and two tippers. The council said it had no funds and would also need fuel for the grader and this is when villagers proposed that each pays US$2 which has been done,” said Mr Sibanda.

The road needs to be graded and an RDC engineer told villagers the grader and two tipper trucks, which are expected to move on site soon as they are finishing another road in Dandanda, would need 800 litres of diesel to rehabilitate the road. “Villagers have prepared the road by clearing bushes and stumping some trees in preparation for the coming of grader. They have paid through their village heads and there is a committee in each village for this project.

“Villagers are suffering as they have to walk 20km on foot either to St Luke’s or to Lupane. The elderly are struggling to access basic services and some are being mugged while walking to the main road while teachers are threatening to transfer from local schools because of lack of transport,” said Mr Sibanda. Gandangula village head Mr Khumbula Mpala said the two bus operators that used to ply the route had also pledged to contribute fuel for rehabilitation of the road. He said the road is badly damaged between St Luke’s Hospital and Kenmaur as well as around Madojwa.

“This road was under the Department of Roads and when it was cut off by the dam they stopped maintaining it. The road is our only link to the main road to go to Lupane, St Luke’s Hospital and Bulawayo for services.

However, the community has a challenge as some villagers closer to the main road have refused to pay because they have access to transport. [email protected]

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