46km of Harare-Mutare dualisation complete, open to traffic
Victor Maphosa Mashonaland East Bureau
FORTY six kilometres of dual carriageway have now been completed and opened to traffic on the stretch between Harare and Marondera, as the Second Republic continues to improve the country’s road infrastructure.
Last Friday, 6km that are part of the 46km, were officially opened to traffic by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona.
He was accompanied by Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland East, Aplonia Munzverengwi, and other senior Government officials.
Dualisation of the Harare-Mutare highway started in 2012, but there was no progress until the coming in of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.
Government has embarked on a massive infrastructure development programme targeting roads, airports, border posts, schools, clinics and hospitals, and energy infrastructure.
Projects started under the First Republic that could either not take-off or be concluded, are now being finalised under President Mnangagwa.
Fossil Contracting Private Limited, a local company, is working on the Harare-Mutare road works.
Speaking to journalists soon after the official opening of the 6km stretch, Minister Mhona said they will continue to work hard to ensure all roads become trafficable.
A good road network, he said, was key to economic development.
“Today we opened 6km to traffic and this gives us 46km opened to traffic to date. We do not end on this stretch, we will continue to dualise this highway to Marondera and then to Mutare,” he said.
“We will also work on the Christmas Pass stretch. On this, we will do a 26km by-pass for the benefit of motorists especially haulage trucks, which will then be required to use the by-pass.
“Also, plans are at an advanced stage for the transformation of Forbes Border Post in Manicaland. We have partners we are working with on this border post, so you will soon see works being done at this border.”
Minister Mhona said they were doing the road rehabilitation works to ensure roads are usable.
He said Government is also upgrading Chirundu Border Post to transform it into a world-class facility, “just like the Beitbridge Border Post”.
“Back in Mashonaland East Province, we will be upgrading Harare-Nyamapanda highway soon. We will also upgrade Nyamapanda Border Post.”
Minister Mhona said an all-Government approach would be used to put an end to traffic congestion and accidents from Mabvuku Turn-off heading to Harare’s Central Business District.
All the infrastructure developments are in line with the drive to attain Vision 2030 of an empowered upper-middle income society.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister Munzverengwi saluted President Mnangagwa for making sure roads in Mashonaland East Province were attended to.
She also praised the Ministry of Transport and the contractor Fossil Contracting for a job well done.
“We just hope the Melfort bridge will be done soon because that area is one of the black spots along this highway.
“This province hosts two major roads with exits to South Africa and Mozambique. We thank President Mnangagwa and the ministry for ensuring local companies are working on our roads.
“As a province, we have benefited and have a number of projects underway. We are thankful for that,” Minister Munzverengwi said.