Road lifespan not yet guaranteed
CHIRIMUHANZU – Despite the pomp and fanfare that took place when President Robert Mugabe officiated the ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrade of the long awaited Beitbridge – Harare – Chirundu highway, the work is not expected to start anytime soon because the main constructor is yet to approve the road design, TellZim News has learnt.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joramu Gumbo said the main contractor, Geiger International, needed time to look into the road design.
“We are happy that our main contractor has since arrived and ready to have the job done. In this regard, he will need at least three months to look at the road design, but because he is here, all work is ready to begin,” Gumbo said.
He also revealed that work will be done on the Beitbridge – Harare stretch of the road only while the rest of the stretch to Chirundu remained just an idea.
“The Private Public Partnership will also fund the distance between Beitbridge to Harere, whereas Harare to Chirundu will be funded through a loan facility. Due to budget constraints, we are working hard to make sure that the road will be completed,” Gumbo said.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairperson Dexter Nduna later told TellZim News the contractor had not yet presented themselves to parliament.
“Geiger International is expected to come parliament within the next four weeks, that is before they commence work on the ground, to table on what lifespan they are giving the project after completion.
“Pertaining the lifespan, we will also engage the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers to make sure that durable work is done, unlike what happened on the Mutare – Plumtree Road.
“To make sure the work is durable and perfect, credible bodies will be engaged to evaluate work done by contractors. We however expect nothing less than ten years when it comes to the road’s lifespan,” Nduna said.
Speaking at the event where he was the guest of honour, President Mugabe warned against vandalism and theft of property.
He also demanded that contractors meet international standards in their work and urged the relevant ministry to monitor the work.
“I am informed that this project costs US$984 million therefore for such a large amount of money, we expect nothing but a high quality road. Sub-standard work should never be tolerated. I also call upon the relevant ministry to strictly monitor the construction.
“I appeal with community leaders to guard against vandalism. It is them that should protect infrastructure against vandalism that has reached unprecedented levels country-wide. Nemombe nemombe ngadzirege kufamba mumugwagwa. Mombe ndedzekumatanga nekumafuro kwete mumugwagwa.
“We should all work to fight against vandalism. Nyaya yekukwachura zvinenge zvaiswa, simbi dzinenge dzasevenzeswa kuvaka…ko chiiko chirwere chapinda matiri. Pamba unongowana padamburwa pombi, hazvinei kuti ndepaVaMnangagwa kana kuti VaMphoko. Kuti uzive kuti zvinoitwa nevaroyi here asi haiwa, haisiriyo ndima yevaroyi, varoyi vanotsvaga vanhu,” Mugabe said.
Geiger International representative, Eric Geiger promised to award 40 percent of work to be done to locals and also promised to benefit communities from the areas they operate from.
“We will do whatever it takes to make sure the project is completed and in the course, we will make sure that we contribute positively to economic growth.
“We will make sure that 40 percent of work done will be awarded to locals in line with the country’s ZimAsset blueprint and we will benefit the areas we operate from through the Community Share Ownership Trust,” Geiger said.topnews