Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Government should invest heavily in infrastructure and work with top engineers to develop innovative solutions to better prepare infrastructure, which is paramount to Zimbabwe’s economic growth, the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers has said.
Chairman of the Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technology, a division of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers, Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi said the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (ECZ), the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE), and the Zimbabwe Association of Consulting Engineers (ZACE) professional bodies state that it is now up to engineers to step forward into leadership roles.
“With the experience, education and skills needed to fulfil their obligations to public health and safety, 1 500 professional engineers currently in Zimbabwe have the tools and ability needed to directly influence the development, growth and rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure,” he said.
“Professional engineers can provide the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and other parties and organisations with critical expertise, suggest important improvements, and propose possible solutions to address the many issues and concerns regarding each aspect of the infrastructure.”
Eng Mutisi said with a focus on new and innovative design, an improvement in construction quality, cost management and public safety, professional engineers could play a key role in the future of the country’s infrastructure.
He said while finding the funding for infrastructure investment was best left to the nation’s leaders, how best to apply that funding should be a topic to be thoroughly discussed with engineers.
“Now that the elections are over, there is no better time to rebuild Zimbabwe than now,” said Eng Mutisi.
“It is no secret that Zimbabwe’s infrastructure has been steadily falling apart during the past 28 years. Zimbabwe faces a multitude of ageing roads and bridges, dams, outdated airports and obsolete telecommunication infrastructure. Zimbabwe’s crumbling infrastructure can be attributed to a lack of government funding but as engineers we feel the main culprit is simply neglect.”
Eng Mutisi said Zimbabwe’s economy needed the flexibility, insight and foresight that comes from thinking creatively, asking critical questions, forming and testing hypotheses and reasoning quantitatively and engineers have the technical knowledge and the problem solving skills to respond to constant change.
He said with nearly 400 bridges in Zimbabwe now considered to be structurally deficient, and with millions of Zimbabweans crossing those bridges each day, it was more important than ever to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.
“Currently in Zimbabwe, there are no viable solutions to rectify the long periods of infrastructure neglect, delayed maintenance and lack of funding,” said Eng Mutisi.