By George Maponga
Government has pledged to release $35 million to complete the upgrading of the Mhandamabwe-Chibi turn-off road which had been stalled due to lack of funds. The project is now set to resume next week after Government released a large chunk of the funds with an undertaking to settle the whole amount needed for the project before year end.
Government awarded the project, which was aimed at reducing accidents along the road and stimulate commercial activities by villagers in rural parts of Chivi to Bitumen World.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira said upgrading of the highway was set to resume after Government ironed out its differences with the contractor.
Speaking after touring the project early this week with the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza, Minister Chadzamira said Government had paid part of the money, paving way for work to resume.
“All is now set for resumption of work at the Mhandamabwe-Chibi turn-off road project after Government released funds to the contractor. All in all about $35 million is required to complete work on the remaining 11km stretch of the road,” said Minister Chadzamira.
“We met the contractor and reached an agreement that now that Government has released part of the outstanding money work can now resume so we got an undertaking that they will start work next week which is good news for us as a province.”
Minister Chadzamira said release of additional funding for the road upgrade project was testament to President Mnangagwa’s thrust to improve the country’s road network for ease of doing business and allow for economic growth in line with Vision 2030.
Government is financing the road project via the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA).
Upgrading of the Chibi-Mhandamabwe road has also created employment for locals. President Mnangagwa recently designated Chibi Turn-Off as a business centre in a development that saw the incorporation of adjacent communal land into the new business centre.