Political commentator and social media activist, Ali Naka, has taken to Twitter to express his disappointment and criticism of President Mnangagwa’s commissioning of a single-lane bridge. Naka’s tweet included a photograph of a bridge built during the colonial regime in 1935, which he claimed looked far superior to the recently constructed bridge.
Naka’s tweet gained attention as it highlighted the differences between bridges in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. While discussing the state of infrastructure in Zimbabwe, he drew a comparison to Mozambique, where state-of-the-art bridges have been constructed. Naka implied that Zimbabwe, under the Zanu-PF government, had not prioritized the construction of modern infrastructure.
The bridge in question, known as the Rwenya Bridge, was commissioned by President Mnangagwa in Mudzi. Its purpose is to enhance connectivity between Mashonaland East province and Nyanga district in Manicaland, reestablishing the connection that was lost in 2013 when the bridge was swept away by Cyclone Eline.
During his speech at the commissioning ceremony, President Mnangagwa emphasized the government’s commitment to infrastructure development. He stated that the Second Republic would continue to spearhead such projects using the country’s own resources, without relying on borrowing from multilateral agencies. The President proudly announced that local companies, which the government has been supporting, were involved in the bridge’s construction.
While the President celebrated the bridge’s commissioning as a step towards improved connectivity, Naka’s criticism drew attention to the disparity between the newly commissioned bridge and the colonial-era structure. The tweet quickly went viral, sparking a debate among social media users about the quality and prioritization of infrastructure development in Zimbabwe.
The divergent perspectives expressed on social media reflect the ongoing discourse surrounding the state of infrastructure in the country. Critics argue that more attention should be given to constructing modern and durable structures that will benefit the population, while the government asserts its commitment to utilizing local resources for infrastructural development.
As discussions regarding the bridge commissioning continue to unfold, it remains to be seen how the government will address the criticisms and whether there will be a renewed focus on undertaking more ambitious infrastructure projects in the future.