Conrad Mupesa Mash West Bureau
Work on the Karoi tollgate along Harare-Chirundu Highway, which was suspended four years ago is set to resume soon amid reports that the Government was finalising modalities on erecting standardised structures, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza has said.
The construction of the tollgate was approved in October 2015 and work subsequently commenced thereafter with plans to open it in March 2016, but unconfirmed reports suggest that the structure was not standard. Karoi tollgate was among the 10 approved projects that were earmarked to be used in raising funds for roads maintenance and upgrading. Some of the tollgates include Harare-Bindura-Mt Darwin (Bindura), Bulawayo-Gwanda and Chivhu-Nyazura (Magamba) and were set at a distance of 100km apart on straight trunk roads and about 15-20km outside city or town.
Once completed, the exercise will bring the number of tollgates on the Harare-Chirundu Highway to three.
In a telephone interview, Minister Matiza said the Karoi tollgate was going to be finished in due course.
“There is a programme to construct tollgates to proper standards so the contractors have been working on the architectural designs for the other outstanding tollgates including the Karoi one,” he said.
He said the novel coronavirus pandemic had also taken a toll on the programme, as it had delayed some of the laid out plans.
“I’m hopeful that this will be finished soon as many plans have been delayed by this Covid-19 pandemic, but our aim is to resume construction soon and on policy level, this is where we are in terms of upgrading these sites.”
Zimbabwe National Roads Administration’s (Zinara) spokesperson, Mr Tendai Mugabe said tolling was supposed to commence after the department of roads under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development had finished work on the tollgate.