Responding to residents complaints over the traffic jams, on Friday last week, Works Minister, Dr John Magufuli, ordered the contractor to open sections of the over 20-kilometres long road (Mbezi to the city centre) to reduce traffic congestions.
“It is not our responsibility to open any sections of the road so as to be used as we continue with construction of the other sections,” said Yahya Mkumba, Strabag Public Relations Officer when contacted over the matter yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
“It is the duty of Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads),” he explained.
The Tanroads Public Relations Officer, Asha Malima said she was not in a position to comment because she is off duty but did not offer a replacement contact to respond on her behalf.
Works ministry Head of Communication, Martin Ntemo, explained that ‘just because Strabag has not yet opened the sections of the road does not mean that the firm has ignored the minister’s order. There are procedures to be followed,” he said.
Giving an example he said Strabag would have to (before opening any section of the road) inspect and evaluate the said sections, a process that “…might force the government to pay extra billions of shillings for expedited procedures to complete the sections for opening or the subsequent damage to the sections if opened before due completion,” he said.
Ntemo called on Morogoro Road users to be patient, reassuring them that there was no foul play and that the procedures are protocol and might take a few days before the sections are opened.
Up to yesterday, two days after the government order, no section of the Morogoro Road had been opened; worsening traffic jams at Morogoro and Kawawa junction, Morogoro and Mandela/Sam Nujoma Road and Morogoro Road from Ubungo to Mbezi.
Kimara and Mbezi residents spent up to two hours commuting from Ubungo to Mbezi Mwisho – a distance of less than 10 kilometres.