Government has gazetted Joshua Nkomo Express Highway (Airport Road) as a primary road, a new status that will enable it to get national priority in terms of funding from Treasury.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo made the announcement in a Government Gazette published last week following recommendations from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration board.
“It is hereby notified that, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development on recommendation from the board and after consultation with the Municipality of Harare has, in terms of Section 28 (1) (a) of the Roads Act (Chapter 13:18) declared the road described in the schedule and as shown on the drawing number 331/10/20 a primary road,” read the notice.
The dual carriageway starting from the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Enterprise Road is 11,3km long.
City of Harare Director of Works, Engineer Phillip Pfukwa said a road became a major project once declared that it is primary.
“A primary road is a major road that either links cities or countries,” he said. In this instance, Harare International Airport Road (Joshua Nkomo Express Highway) links Zimbabwe with other countries, making it a major road.
“The gazetting of such a road confers it a higher status, which means that it should equally be prioritised by Government in its distribution of resources.”
Eng Pfukwa said some of the roads with such status in Harare included Samora Machel Avenue, Lomagundi Road and Simon Mazorodze Road.
Government last year directed that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, through Zinara, takes over the construction of the express highway after the contractor, Augur Investments, failed to execute operations within the agreed timelines.
This saw Harare City Council terminating the contract upon realising that the company did not have the requisite financial and technical ability to complete the project.
The contract was a barter deal between Harare and Augur Investments in which the firm received 733,9 hectares of land around the city as part payment.