Wednesday 10 May 2023


The Gweru City Council (GCC) Environment Committee has proposed to install duplicate traffic lights next to the malfunctioning ones as it moves to reduce the number of traffic accidents taking place at intersections.

All 16 of the city’s traffic lights have not been working for the past eight years.

The local authority could not repair them due to a legal wrangle with a contractor, Emobuild Construction, which was engaged in 2013 and paid in full to install the traffic lights in the city centre.

The traffic lights, however, malfunctioned soon after installation.

The GCC dragged Emobuild into arbitration for failure to honour its warranty. The City Council is seeking compensation for claims it paid to motorists who were involved in accidents at robot-controlled intersections.

In 2018, the  local authority revealed that  it  had awarded Drewland Mining  Company a tender to replace the electricity-powered traffic lights with solar-powered ones, but the deal collapsed.

Speaking during a full council meeting at Town House recently, Environment Committee chairperson Councillor Trust Chineni (Ward 15) said his committee had tabled plans to install traffic lights next to the malfunctioning ones.

“As a council, on the issue of traffic lights, we said we were going to install new ones and leave Zhang (Emobuild owner)’s (lights) as they are. As the environment committee, we have proposed to install duplicate traffic lights next to the malfunctioning ones to reduce the number of traffic accidents taking place at the intersections that are not controlled,” he said.

Cllr Chineni said the committee had apprised management on the proposal for consideration before a resolution is adopted by the full council.

“We have apprised management on this issue and they said they would look into it and make a decision. We have to resume the traffic lights project since it is long overdue,” he said.

Acting town clerk Mr Livingston Churu confirmed that management was seized with the matter.

“The issue of traffic lights is work in progress and very soon, we will see its commencement,” he said.

In 2019, the council approached the Government to intervene in the matter, but the latter could not act since the issue is pending at the courts.

Some of the intersections with dysfunctional traffic lights in Gweru

Over the years, the Midlands capital has been witnessing traffic jams as a result of traffic lights that are not working.

The council’s plan to install traffic lights has been welcomed by residents, who had for long been demanding that the traffic lights be fixed.

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association executive director, Mr Cornilia Selipiwe, said the installation of traffic lights would reduce the number of accidents in the city.  Chronicle


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