Government has embarked on an assessment of roads to ensure that they are passable as the nation approaches a referendum and elections slated for this year, an official has said.
Civil Protection Unit director Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said several roads had become impassable because of heavy rains that pounded the country recently and this could impact on the efficient conduct of the elections.
"We have an election and referendum and if roads are not traffickable, it is a problem," said Mr Madzudzo.
"This is why we need to have an assessment on the trafficability of the roads. The question of bridges is critical. They have to be restored so that traffic moves across."
Mr Madzudzo was giving oral evidence before a Senate Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on what the department was doing to mitigate the effects of flooding.
The CPU, he said, had since prepared a paper that was presented to Cabinet for consideration on the state of the roads.
He gave an example of Gokwe where he said US$500 000 was needed to rehabilitate a gulley that had de-linked a local hospital and DA's offices from the rest of the town.
"There is a huge gulley which had threatened to divide Gokwe. Now it has done that," he said.
He said people had to use longer routes if they wanted to get to the hospital because of the gulley.
On floods, committee chairperson Rushinga Senator Damien Mumvuri (Zanu-PF) asked why it seemed difficult to persuade people residing in flood prone areas to vacate the places permanently.
Mr Pawadyira said the challenge in making the people leave their areas permanently did not lie with the affected persons but with politicians.
"The problem is with this Chamber (Parliament). While we persuade them to move away we are told that we are encroaching on someone else's constituency. I think it is helpful to use Parliament to try and influence them," he said.
Turning to traffic accidents, Mr Pawadyira said Government had since stopped declaring them disasters as they wanted operators to shoulder responsibility.
"We now only give chema of US$200. We used to pay hospital bills, buy coffins, food all on behalf of culprits who would be hiding somewhere enjoying the spoils," he said.
"As soon as they kill people on the road they come to the government which suddenly becomes their friend, we cannot continue supporting people who kill."
Turning to the budget vote of the department, Mr Pawadyira said they had bid US$1 million last year but Treasury gave them US$400 000.
Mr Pawadyira also outlined to the committee several rescue activities the department together with other arms and agencies carried out since last year at the onset of the rains to date.