Motorists stranded, confused, as main roads in Harare CBD closed for carnival

Harare – Major entrances and exits in and out of the city’s central business district have been cordoned off by municipal officials in preparation for the international carnival being held today.

All roads along the CBD which give access to Jason Moyo avenue are closed, creating an effective barrier separating the top half of town and the lower half.

Stranded motorists are going around in circles, often finding it impossible to access the top half of town. While motorists coming from North of Samora are stuck finding it difficult to pass through Samora Machel avenue towards Jason Moyo.

The closure has caused mass confusion and affected the two major routes to Harare International Airport.

Passengers set to travel to Johannesburg on Air Zimbabwe and South African Airways booked in at hotels in the CBD like Jameson, Meikles, New Ambassador, N1 Hotel, Rainbow, Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn were most affected.

Taxis were scene by this publications reporters scrambling to find an exit which gives them to the airport road.

A city official manning one of the barricades acknowledged that the closures were causing chaos, but said it was a government issue not a city council issue.

“We are simply implementing a directive that came from the government. I agree that they could have done better with regards to making sure motorists know which roads to use, and how to use them.”

At the airport, several passengers were seen scrambling to make check in on time.

The carnival has been heated topic in Zimbabwe this week. The man at its helm, Minister Walter Mzembi supported a ban on South African artist Zodwa waBantu, stating that she was welcome in the country, but her spirit was not welcome. Her refusal to wear underwear is said to have irked the minister.

This despite the fact that the Samba Queens will be next to naked during their performances.

Harare residents interviewed by this publication expressed dismay.

“We are not interested in this carnival thing. The town is closed and we won’t be able to vend our produce. This is bad for us. Every dollar counts.”

At the time of writing there were no efforts by the authorities to assist motorists access routes to their intended destinations.