Nkosizile Ndlovu, Chronicle Correspondent
ENTUMBANE residents yesterday took up the initiative to fix a section of the only tarred road that connects the suburb with other areas after it developed terrible potholes, becoming a nightmare for motorists.

The road, a right turn after the robots along Luveve Road, just before D Square from the city centre leading to Nhliziyo Supermarket, had been badly damaged and the ongoing incessant rains have enlarged its potholes.
Motorists complained that the road significantly increased wear and tear on their vehicles.

“One needs a serious off-road four wheel drive to move on this road, especially on the section just after the traffic lights,” remarked a bus driver yesterday, who declined to be named.

Some motorists were opting to use “footpaths” to access the suburb.

The deep potholes caused drivers to criss-cross the road at extremely slow speeds as they tried to move on relatively smooth patches and minimise damage to their cars.

For years, the dilapidated road had been neglected with no action being taken by Bulawayo City Council, which has prompted residents through the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) to engage their local Member of Parliament Dingilizwe Tshuma (Entumbane-Emakhandeni) who responded positively by buying two bags of cement and one tonne of gravel and joined residents in fixing the road.

Speaking during the rehabilitation of the road BPRA committee member Mr Pedro Dladla said residents had stepped up where council was struggling due to economic challenges.

He said waiting for the local authority to act was problematic because residents faced the inconvenience of a virtually impassable major road every day.

“We have been reporting about this road to our local councillor (Cllr Sinikiwe Mutanda) but she is saying the council is currently financially crippled due to prevailing economic challenges. Bulawayo used to be a very beautiful place and as residents it pains us to see it in this state.

We are doing this voluntarily as you can see most of the people working here are the youths who want to see their suburb return to its original state,” said Mr Dladla.

He appealed to well-wishers and the corporate world to assist with gravel, quarry, cement and rubble so that residents can patch all roads that need to be repaired in the suburb.

“We are appealing for assistance from the well-wishers. We accept help of any kind especially gravel, quarry, cement and rubble.

We are also asking for food so that those who are working can eat. We are willing to do this in the whole of Entumbane but we do not have the resources.

We, however, have our hands, eyes and willing hearts. We can’t watch while our suburb deteriorates into a slum. We will do it ourselves,” declared Mr Dladla.

One of about 15 youths who were working on the road, Mpilwenhle Dhewa, said he felt it was necessary for him to volunteer as he loves his suburb.

“I voluntarily decided to come and work here for the love of my suburb. I was born and bred here and hopefully I will die here. The road was no longer user friendly.

This is the only main road that is used to gain access to Entumbane and if we watch it deteriorating like this, we would have failed as youths in the suburb. Besides, this will keep me busy and away from social ills like drugs and alcohol,” he said.