40 roads lined up for massive construction and maintenance ahead of SADC Summit Minister Mhona

Freeman Razemba in Geneva, Switzerland

At least 40 greater roads in and around the city have been lined up for massive construction and maintenance ahead of the 2024 SADC Summit scheduled to be held in Harare in August.

This development comes after a SADC Preparatory Mission led by the Deputy Executive Secretary Corporate Affairs Dr Judith Kateera, recently arrived in the country to engage Harare over preparations for the SADC Summit.

The preparatory mission was a technical team that engaged Zimbabwe in terms of preparations for hosting the 44th SADC Summit in August.

President Mnangagwa will become the SADC chair in August, taking over the chairmanship from Angola.

However, the government through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has since embarked on massive road construction and maintenance works in preparation for the summit.

In a statement, the ministry confirmed the developments yesterday.

“The Republic of Zimbabwe shall be hosting the 44th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August this year. As part of the preparation works, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is tasked with constructing and rehabilitating road infrastructure to facilitate efficient and smooth flow of the delegates and the citizenry during the Summit.”

The road infrastructure where the ministry shall apply Asphaltic Concrete Overlay includes Samora Machel ( Jaggers to Kuwadzana Roundabout), Dieppe Roundabout – Glenara/Samora Junction – Glenara/E.D. Mnangagwa Road, Dieppe Roundabout – Chiremba (through Braeside), Robert Mugabe/Rotten Row – Josiah Tongogara, Harare Drive Roundabout Jaggers – Lomagundi Road ( selected sections), 4th Street (Simon Muzenda Street)/Robert Mugabe Junction to Tongogara Road, 4th Street (Simon Muzenda Street)/Robert Mugabe Junction to Tongogara Roads.

“The Ministry has initiated a procurement process for the above Greater Harare roads to engage the contractors that are compliant under Category A to participate in the tender through competitive bidding to ensure that there is value for money.

The Ministry anticipates the procurement process for the Greater Harare Roads to be concluded and works to commence by 31 March 2024.

“The SADC Summit Roads construction works include the Urban section of the Harare – Chirundu Road project from Julius Nyerere Way to Westgate Traffic Circle (Second Street and Lomagundi Road), which is being rehabilitated, widened, and dualized and includes street lighting and landscaping. The Ministry has directed the contractor apportioned that section on the Harare – Chirundu Road Project, Fossil Contracting Pvt Ltd to immediately prioritize the works for completion on or before 31 July 2024. The Harare – Chirundu Road was approved by Cabinet last year in May 2023 and the groundbreaking ceremony to commence the works done on the 2nd of February 2024,” the ministry said.

Furthermore, the Ministry has also directed Exodus and Company Pvt Ltd which is implementing the Harare – Kanyemba Road Project to prioritize the urban section from the Lomagundi intersection with Second Street to New Parliament Boulevard main access.

This section is to be dualized and rehabilitated and include street lighting and landscaping to completion on or before 31 July 2024.

“Lastly, pursuant to the Cabinet approval obtained in April 2023 for Bitumen World Pvt Ltd to construct the North–South Corridor Link and the New Parliament Main Accesses, the Ministry has directed Bitumen World to prioritise the New Parliament Main Accesses including street lighting and landscaping which also must be completed on or before 31 July 2024.

“The ongoing works show the commitment by the Ministry to deliver meaningful progress towards infrastructural development and ensuring satisfactory road infrastructure in support of the August SADC Summit.

The Ministry is also embarking on rehabilitating, reconstructing, and constructing the country’s roads to promote trafficability and produce a modern way of roads as good road infrastructure is one of the key pillars that support economic development, and an efficient transportation system is crucial for trade, investment, and connectivity.

“The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development declared zero tolerance for potholes and thus will not stop on the development infrastructure trajectory that has seen our various teams in the provinces embarking on massive pothole patching works,” the ministry said.

This development also comes after the construction of about 26km of access roads in the Mount Hampden area has started through Government contracts to link to the New Parliament Building, Bindura Road and other surrounding areas and ease anticipated congestion in the northwest of Harare.

A local contractor, Bitumen World, which is conducting the works, is now on site, constructing about 13km of the Old Mazowe Road from Westgate roundabout and is expected to complete all the roads by July 31 this year.

After constructing the 13km, the Government will later this year reconstruct the other part of the road up to Mazowe, linking it with Bindura Road

The other road currently under construction is the 7km boulevard that stretches from Bindura Road straight to the New Parliament Building. It will have eight lanes (four on the right side and four on the left side) and all this will be done by mid-year.

Others are the 4,7km crescent around Parliament and a 2km road that will also lead to Parliament.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Charles Tavengwa and other Government officials recently conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the roads in Mt Hampden.

In an interview, Minister Mhona said the idea behind the project was to demonstrate to the nation that they were not just electioneering but out to deliver real meaningful progress.

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