Zimbabwean government moves to decongest country's busy traffic circle

2021-10-06 13:55:06 GMT2021-10-06 21:55:06(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Tichaona Chifamba

HARARE, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- A traffic circle to the south of Zimbabwe's capital Harare, arguably the busiest in the country, is set for a major facelift after Cabinet agreed Tuesday to immediately upgrade it to an interchange.

Commonly referred to as the Mbudzi Roundabout, a reference to the selling of goats in the adjacent areas, the traffic circle has been a huge source of frustration to motorists who would spend up to two hours covering a stretch of less than a kilometer during peak hours due to congestion.

It is located at the crossroads of Simon Mazorodze, High Glen, Masvingo and Chitungwiza roads and caters for traffic coming into the city from as far as South Africa.

Some motorists coming from the eastern parts of the country seeking to bypass the city also use the roundabout as they travel to the western and northern parts of the country and to countries in the north such as Zambia.

Minister of Information Monica Mutsvangwa told a media briefing after the Cabinet meeting that increased traffic flow in the Beitbridge-Harare highway had caused more congestion at the traffic circle, prompting the government to deal with the situation.

"Cabinet has noted that works on the Beitbridge-Harare Highway are facilitating the smooth flow of traffic causing congestion at the Mbudzi Roundabout. Accordingly, Cabinet has approved the immediate construction of the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange in Harare," she was quoted saying by the Herald newspaper.

The cost of the project and the time it will take the contractors have not yet been revealed.

Harare City Council has said that it will work with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development on the project.

However, a senior government official said recently that the government was negotiating with a financial institution which had expressed interest in advancing a loan or funding to Treasury.

The project will also lead to the demolition of more than 320 illegal structures in the area, as Harare City Council clears land for the mammoth project.

The structures include houses and shops which were built in road reservations. Owners were on Tuesday given 48 hours to leave the area, or the council would move in with bulldozers to demolish the illegal structures. Enditem