Zimbabwe seeks $100 million for emergency road repairs

A woman walk along an empty street in the central business district of Harare, Zimbabwe, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE  – Zimbabwe requires $100 million for emergency road repairs following above normal rains that have severely damaged the urban road network and highways, a government minister said on Wednesday.

Unable to get balance of payment support from foreign lenders due to unpaid arrears, and with more than 90 percent of its national budget going to salaries, Zimbabwe’s public infrastructure has been crumbling for more than a decade.

In the capital Harare, motorists often dodge potholes that constantly damage vehicles, angering residents, who accuse the government and local councils of neglect.

Transport Minister Joram Gumbo told reporters that in the southern parts of the country, some sections of highways and bridges were washed away following a cyclone that developed from the coast of southern Mozambique last month.

Gumbo said the government would raise $100 million to repair the roads. The national road agency would chip in with half of the money, which it would borrow from local banks, he said.

“The state of our roads has further deteriorated to the extent that some sections of the national road network have become impassable,” Gumbo said.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia)


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