Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter
Government has said dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Road will start soon after resolving a dispute with ZimHighways Consortium, a grouping of local firms, to push the stalled project forward. The project has stagnated for 12 years because ZimHighways, awarded the tender in 2002, allegedly struggled to secure funding.
In an interview yesterday, Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Mr Munodaishe Munodawafa said Government requested the Tender Board to withdraw the tender in December 2012 and the consortium sought relief from the courts.
As a result of the impasse, dualisation of the Bulawayo-Plumtree Highway started and was completed while the Harare-Beitbridge project lay idle.
The dispute has been resolved and work should start soon, said Mr Munodawafa.
“We believe that we will be able to resolve the issue outside courts. Development is better than litigation,” he said.
He said most of the members of the consortium had withdrawn their court cases and Government was “hopeful that this issue will be resolved and we will be able to move on with the project”.
The consortium in the US$600 million project is led by Costain Africa and includes Murray & Roberts, Kuchi Construction, BancABC, Tarcon Civil Construction and Mining Group, and Joina Development.
Dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway is one of Government’s priority projects. The current single carriageway road is blamed for the high number of traffic accidents on the road.