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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Government rehabilitates Bulawayo-Vic Falls road

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

THE government has moved in to rehabilitate the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway which is important in linking various parts of the country to Zimbabwe’s prime tourist destinations.

The move will bring relief to motorists, including those enroute to the country’s tourism capital.

Long stretches of the road have become a sore point for drivers due the extent of the damage.

Speaking from the Hwange stretch of the highway, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona said as of this week, the contractor, Bitumen World is starting the construction works.

The minister said 60 kilometres which are badly damaged on the Hwange and Lupane stretches are being attended to first.

“To the people of Zimbabwe, as we started this week Bitumen World has moved in and it has ten groups that will be working on the road,” said the Minister.

“Currently, we will attend to all damaged sections. We have scoped the road and have seen that 60 kilometres are extensively damaged. We have scoped in particular 30 kilometres before Hwange and also stretches in the Lupane area,” he added.

Once the badly damaged part is completed, government will then rehabilitate the entire stretch from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls as enunciated by the Minister.

“After the first prioritised kilometres, we will then move in to do the rest of the road. We will do it in the manner we are doing the Beitbridge-Harare road,” noted Honorable Mhona.

Focusing on roads elsewhere, Honourable Mhona said the Harare,Nyamapanda highway as well as the Harare-Chirundu highway are also being prioritised.

While in the past roads in residential areas were under local authorities, Minister Mhona said government is also moving in to attend to these, highlighting that there is already a tender for the Cowdry Park road in Bulawayo.

“We can no longer say these roads are not under the ministry, but we will work to have them fixed. We already have a tender for Cowdry Park. It may just take time as we are tapping into the fiscus given the issue of sanctions,” he went on.

The road rehabilitation being undertaken under the second Republic has seen government using local resources.

The Harare-Beitbridge highway is among the flagship projects of the second republic, which has seen local companies being contracted to undertake the road works.

The workmanship of local engineers in construction has been commended, with the quality of the road being given a thumbs up.

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