Freeman Razemba–Senior Reporter
Bitumen World, one of the biggest local construction companies, has been awarded the tender to reconstruct Seke Road under the Emergency Road Repair Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2) as Government seeks to transform the road that many people have complained about for a long time.
Road construction falls under the infrastructure cluster and roads are regarded as key economic enablers in line with the attainment of Vision 2030 of an upper middle income society.
Seke Road — which stretches from central Harare to Chitungwiza — has been in bad shape for a long time, especially the portion from Coke Corner to Maruta Shopping Centre in Hatfield.
Work on the busy road is scheduled to commence tomorrow, as President Mnangagwa’s Government lives to its promise of ensuring world class roads.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona confirmed the development yesterday.
“It is true that Bitumen World (Pvt) Ltd has been awarded the tender for the reconstruction of the road,” he said.
“It was put to tender and Bitumen won the tender and they will commence works on Wednesday. They are expected to handover the road in 90 days.
“I am actually delighted as the minister for being part of the Second Republic and my special thanks go to the President.”
Minister Mhona said President Mnangagwa, as a listening President, had acted to the pleas of many road users that called for the road’s reconstruction.
He said by tomorrow, the road is expected to be closed and alternative routes would be published in the local media soon.
In a statement, Bitumen World confirmed the project.
“The Department of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has awarded the reconstruction of Seke Road, under the Emergency Road Repair Programme Phase 2, to Bitumen World (Pvt) Ltd (Civil Engineering Contractors).
“We are pleased to advise that the works are scheduled to commence on Wednesday 18 August.
“The reconstruction of a road necessitates re-routing of the traffic that normally uses the road.
“The reconstruction will be closing off portions of the dual carriageway such that single lane traffic will operate on the remaining open carriageway,” said Bitumen.
The company said motorists should reduce speed when they start using the single lane traffic system, and exercise patience as there could be long queues.
Further, motorists were urged to start their journeys 30 minutes earlier than normal.
The Government has so far spent over $1 billion on road rehabilitation, gravelling and drainage structuring as part of the Second Republic’s ERRP2 launched by President Mnangagwa early this year.
This dovetails with the Government’s thrust of modernising national transport infrastructure, a key enabler for economic growth and development.
Former Perm Sec Amos Marawa recently said so far ERRP2, which has been running for four months, had seen 220,8km of roads being rehabilitated while 22,8km have been resealed.
Over 2 000km of roads have been re-gravelled, while 6 627,9km have been graded while 701 drainage structures have been constructed or repaired and 184 wash-ways having been reclaimed.
Across the country 4 491,5km of drains have been opened while 6 141,2km of verges have been cleared while progress continues to be made on the patching of potholes with a cumulative of 4 794,8km having been attended to.
Eng Marawa said so far, $1 457 244 963,98 had been disbursed to road authorities under the ERRP 2.
While urban dwellers have been subjected to sloppy service delivery from successive MDC Alliance run councils since the year 2000, the launch of the ERRP2 by President Mnangagwa in April has seen critical infrastructure being rehabilitated.
In Harare where the MDC-A rehabilitated a paltry 1,1km last year against its set target of 120km, road works are taking place everywhere in what is reflective of the desire of President Mnangagwa to transform the country.
Said the President in April: “My Government heard the outcry of our people as movement on our roads has become cumbersome, costly, and indeed risky.
“As a result, on February 9, 2021, the Government declared the state of all our roads a National Disaster, thereby giving impetus to the operationalisation of the Second Phase of the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP2).
“This programme is vital given that roads are intricately linked with our economy within the country and beyond.
“Furthermore, a good transport network is an important cog in the realisation of a wide array of the sector priorities and objectives outlined in the National Development Strategy 1, as we journey towards Vision 2030. Hence, my administration remains seized with the provision and maintenance of sustainable infrastructure and other associated services.”