By Elvis Dumba
Commercial farmers who use the Banket-Raffingora Road have joined hands with the Department of Roads, Zvimba North Constituency Legislator Marian Chombo, and Zvimba Rural District Council in the rehabilitation of the road.
The rehabilitation of the 46 km Banket-Raffingora road comes at a time the farmers are preparing for the marketing season that is expected to begin with the tobacco selling season in March.
Ephraim Pasi, a commercial farmer at Combe Farm who is in wheat, maize, and animal husbandry said the initiative is being supported by various farmers who use the road after realising the burden on the local member of parliament who is spearheading road rehabilitation across the constituency.
“We are supporting our member of parliament, Hon Chombo, so that this road is repaired. This comes after we realised as farmers that our vehicles are the ones who utilise this road. Having noted that Hon Chombo is already burdened with other roads and other infrastructure needs across the constituency she is funding, we came together as farmers and pooled our resources to assist,” he said.
Pasi said they are providing fuel, food, and servicing of the machinery whilst the Department of Roads and Zvimba District Rural Council are offering technical support, with Honorable Chombo coordinating the project.
Bywell Mbiri, Zanu PF Zvimba District Coordinating Committee Chairperson, who is a farmer in the area, said the farmers have displayed unity of purpose and heeded the call by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the country is built and developed by its own citizens.
“This has demonstrated that people are heeding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call that as citizens, we own our community development. I applaud these farmers who are supporting initiatives by Hon Chombo in ensuring that no place or people is left behind in development,” he said.
Some motorists were shunning the road due to its state resulting in commuters forking more in transport charges.
A Zupco bus that plies the Harare-Raffingora route was introduced through the facilitation of Hon Chombo to lessen the burden on transport costs for commuters.
“We are grateful to Hon Chombo who is spearheading the overdue rehabilitation of this road which is a huge relief to us, commuter operators who use the road,” Alphios Matare said.