Silobela cut off from the world
The inaccessible, dilapidated and potholed road linking Kwekwe and Silobela is detrimental to Silobela community development and a dysfunctional and a paralysis plethora to efforts in luring investors in Silobela . Kwekwe – Silobela road is the shortest link to Bulawayo, second largest city in Zimbabwe, as the road also connects Nkayi to Bulawayo. A lot has been said, promised and planned about the state of the road since 1980 and nothing serious has been implemented to redress the road status quo. A recent visit by Kwekwe based journalists during belated World Press Freedom Day Celebrations revealed a sorry state of affairs befalling Silobela Constituency.
Accessing Silobela by road is a tall order in this dry season, let alone during rainy season.
“Silobela Constituency will be completely cut off from the rest of the country as the roads are in bad state, especially the Kwekwe – Silobela road, which has got a more than 40 kilometers of vehicle damaging dusty and totally inaccessible stretch. The dusty stretch is a nightmare to drivers as most bus companies cannot service the route”, said Ishmael Njovhane, a self acclaimed small scale miner near Crossroads in Silobela. Many villagers in the area have blamed mining syndicates in the area of demaging the road as they ferry their gold ore. The mining operations are destroying the roads and not even repairing the roads. Zibagwe Rural Council has also come under fire for not engaging mining companies in the area to put effort in repairing and resurfacing of Kwekwe – Silobela road.
A lot has been said about Kwekwe – Silobela road and promises were declared by Government Ministers and Ministry of Roads and infrastructure, but nothing has been done resurface the now ‘cursed ‘ road. A recent visit by Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Hon Felix Mhona in Silobela promised that the road will be resurfaced in the near future.
” For how long will the rehabilitation of Kwekwe – Silobela road be in not so urgent or pending ‘basket’ on the responsible Minister table, is it a political issue in order to punish people of Silobela for vote in opposition MP some time ago or the government has a hidden issue with villagers in Silobela. Why is the government not considering resurfacing of the road top priority. It is time the Second Republic take the bull by its horns and act by completely resurfacing the road”, said a villager at the belated World Press Freedom Day Celebrations in Silobela.
The rehabilitation of Kwekwe – Silobela road was initiated in 1984 up until now a lot of talk shop has been done in resurfacing the road. The road is very strategic to the entire nation as it will remarkably reduce delivery costs and time, fuel consumption, tear and wear as it cuts the distance to Victoria Falls by 200 kilometers
At a recent meeting held by Minister of Transport And Infrastructure Development with stakeholders in Silobela, the Minister promised that road rehabilitation will commence as the Ministry was tendering for contractors in order to get the best of the many who applied for the job to ensure transparency. The Minister also conveyed the message from the President of Zimbabwe His Excellency Hon ED Mnangagwa that Kwekwe – Silobela road will be given top priority during this Phase of road construction and labour will come from people in the area. The Minister reiterated that rehabilitation will commence concurrently with Nkayi – Bulawayo road.