Harare-Chirundu highway upgrade: Local project partners approved
Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
PARTNERSHIPS with local companies have been approved by Government to upgrade, rehabilitate, widen and construct the 352km Harare-Chirundu Road, the other part of the major North-South Corridor that will see work on the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway moving towards conclusion.
The project is in line with the Second Republic’s vision of providing state-of-the-art road infrastructure to facilitate easier movement of goods and services and thereby boost economic activity and uplift livelihoods.
The announcement came on the back of Government, in 2021, having a state of disaster declared on the country’s road infrastructure which was then followed by a sustained road rehabilitation programme financed through Treasury and using local contractors.
With the private sector primed to play a key role in the country’s rapid economic transformation towards an empowered upper middle income economy as envisioned by President Mnangagwa, the coming on board of private players signals continued comfort private capital is having in the Second Republic.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the approved proposals on the partnership between Government and local companies after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
“Cabinet received and approved proposals on the partnership between the Government of Zimbabwe and Bitumen World Pvt Ltd, Masimba Holdings Ltd, Tensor Systems Pvt Ltd, Exodus and Company Pvt Ltd and Fossil Contracting Pvt Ltd to upgrade, rehabilitate, widen and construct the 352km Harare-Chirundu Road, with Prostruct Consulting Engineers providing consultancy services for the project,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The road was among the many others which the Second Republic was implementing to provide state-of-the-art road infrastructure to facilitate easier movement of goods and services and thereby boost economic activity and uplift livelihoods.
“The project on the upgrading, rehabilitation and widening of the Harare-Chirundu Highway is intended to complement the North-South Corridor development programme which incorporates critical infrastructure such as the modernised Beitbridge Border Post, the Beitbridge-Harare Highway and the Mbudzi Interchange.
“The Harare-Chirundu regional trunk road will be split into five equal sections of 67,8km for the contractors to design and undertake works.
“Upon completion within the envisaged 24 months, the project will deliver a safer and more efficient road network as well as access to critical economic areas along the route, and enhance regional connectivity by ensuring that transit traffic connects seamlessly.
“Cabinet also approved the proposals on the partnership between the Government of Zimbabwe and Tensor Systems (Pvt) Ltd, and Masimba Holdings Ltd on the upgrading of the 265km Karoi-Binga Road from gravel to surfaced standards, using loan financing.
“The road provides an essential gateway link between the country’s popular tourist spots, Kariba and Victoria Falls, and will support numerous economic activities by enhancing the use of local resources in tourism and hospitality, agriculture, mining and fishing,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona, also reported that works have already commenced on the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway.
Minister Mhona said Government has the capacity to fund the massive road rehabilitation programme taking place.
He lauded the wise counsel of President Mnangagwa for setting the country on a developmental trajectory despite the presence of illegal sanctions imposed on the country by some Western countries.
“Government has capacity because it has created an enabling environment where we are working closely with the private sector,” said Minister Mhona.
Meanwhile, Cabinet also received an update on the Implementation of the National Housing Delivery Programme with the Second Republic maintaining its stance on ensuring decent housing for all citizens under the National Development Strategy 1, with significant progress being witnessed across all provinces.
The original target of 220 000 flats and houses by 2025 has been revised to 1 million houses, while flats and serviced stands, where owners build their own homes with Government resources, are being complemented by the private sector and individual developers inclusive of diasporans.
“The number of ongoing projects has reached 346, and these have so far yielded a cumulative figure of 49 150 completed houses and 136 850 fully serviced stands, with 42 706 houses under construction, while the servicing of 43 605 stands is in progress. This was 86 percent of the original set target.
“Cabinet has therefore agreed that the target should be revised to a million houses by 2025. The regularisation of informal settlements has reached greater heights following the launch of the issuance of title deeds by His Excellency the President on March 22, 2023 in Epworth.
“Regularisation initiatives are underway in Seke District under Manyame Rural District Council, Caledonia, Harare South and Hatcliffe North, Gimboki in Mutare, and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo.
“In all these settlements, an elaborate mortgage system is being designed for beneficiaries to pay for services at reasonable cost upon completion of developer works.
“In addition, Zimbabwe, as the current Shelter Afrique Bureau Chair, has applied for a US$25 million sovereign loan facility for social housing development. Project sites have already been identified in all the 10 provinces,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.