Government and Harare City Council have attended to problems that had stalled some road works in Harare and Mashonaland Central Province, and work is expected to resume soon, officials have said. Road contractors in Harare had stopped working due to increases in prices, while work on the $12,5 million Bindura-Matepatepa Road in Mashonaland Central Province had stalled due to a shortage of fuel.
This was revealed during a tour of roads in Harare and Bindura by the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Hot Spot Roads rehabilitation programme.
Harare City Council has since approved the price variations, with road construction set to resume next week, while the District Development Fund (DDF) is set to assist the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department in transporting fuel to road projects countrywide.
Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet in charge of DDF and related infrastructure Mr James Jonga said DDF will assist CMED in setting up fuel deports in provincial capitals to ease fuel challenges faced by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
“They are preparing to move storage tanks to Chinhoyi and Marondera,” he said.
Bindura will receive theirs at the end of March.
“In order to manage possible leakages, CMED has proposed that our contractors firstly get confirmation letters and buy coupons in Harare.”
Permanent Secretary in Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s Office Rtd Major-General Godfrey Chanakira, who is the chairman of the taskforce, said the purpose of the visit was to assess the progress on the ground on on-going projects which are considered as hotspots.
“They are topical either because of accidents or if the state of the road is bad or if it is hampering economic activities,” he said.
Matepatepa is the major producer of agricultural products in this province, so it is essential that there are good roads to service it for the transportation of inputs and produce to the market.
“As they bring the challenges they are facing, we will look at them and then consult the fiscal authorities to see whether there is any scope to see whether they can extend the projects.
“We are not going to do anything which is not funded in the budget, so right now we are basing on funds availed in the 2019 Budget.”
Speaking during the tour of High Glen roundabout in Harare, Harare City Council works director Engineer Zvenyika Chawatama told the taskforce that some the city’s contractors had stopped work because of price escalations, but council had approved the changes.
“The project (roundabout) has dual funding, that is from the city and Zinara,” he said.
“We expect to open part of it to traffic on Tuesday (tomorrow), while the rest of the project should be complete by end of March.
“In terms of cost, the roundabout was supposed to cost $400 000, but the cost has gone up to $1,4 million.” Construction of Matepatepa Road started in September last year and two kilometres have been primed so far. The 95km road is expected to be completed in the next five years.