Govt blacklists road contractors failing to meet standards Minister Mhona

Columbus Mabika

CONTRACTORS awarded tenders under the ongoing Emergency Road Repair Programme (Phase 2) who do not meet standards or who fail to meet the agreed targets without a first class reason are now being barred from future contracts,  Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, said yesterday.

And the funds they may have already been paid and wasted will be recovered through legal action.

The Emergency Road Repair Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2) is witnessing accelerated road maintenance, upgrading and construction with the ordinary budget from Zinara funds doubled by Treasury as the Second Republic catches up on years of poor or zero maintenance by local authorities, especially urban councils. In a speech read on his behalf by Permanent Secretary, Engineer Theodius Chinyanga, while addressing legislators in the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development touring road projects and tollgates at a meeting in Nyanga yesterday, Minister Mhona said those contractors failing to meet expected standards will be blacklisted.

“As we implement road works under ERRP 2, we have noted that some contractors are not meeting expected standards as some of them are already showing signs of distress. Some are even failing to execute the works after being awarded contracts,” he said.

“As Government, we have taken steps towards blacklisting in the extreme cases. I have instructed my officials to come up with modalities to recover any public funds which may have been, if any, lost due to the work of under-performing contractors using the legal route.”

Minister Mhona said Government remains committed to upgrading highways which are key economic enablers.

“In this regard, I am pleased to inform this house that more than 300km of road has been opened to traffic along the Harare-Beitbridge highway. Coupled with the upgrading of the Beitbridge Border Post, this positions Zimbabwe among the best routes for transporters within the SADC region, especially given its strategic locus along the North-South Corridor, he said.  Other major highways linking to ports are on the list for urgent development along with feeder and primary roads.

Zinara board chairman Mr George Manyaya said his organisation has taken a bold stance to rebrand itself into a more professional institution that contributes meaningfully to the growth of the national economy.

Committee chair Mr Osca Gorerino hailed the current progress in road rehabilitation.

“We applaud his Excellency, President Emmerson Mnagagwa for spearheading the ERRP, we can see that a lot of road rehabilitation and construction of bridges is ongoing at a good pace across the country,” he said.

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