Harare-Beitbridge highway upgrade on course

By John Nhandara

THE government’s robust infrastructure development drive is bearing fruit, with the widening, reconstructing and rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway registering significant progress.

313 kilometres of the highway have already been opened to traffic.

This was disclosed when the visiting Zambian Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Works and Supply got an appreciation of the scope of Zimbabwe’s road rehabilitation programme in the Beatrice area.

“We are satisfied with the quality of the roads that we have seen here,” said Engineer Jarawani Kangara, the Acting Director, Roads Construction and Maintenance with the Ministry of Transport and infrastructure Development.

Engineer Kangara said most of the contactors are ahead of schedule and is confident that they will meet the target of opening 500 kilometres by the end of the year.

“We have opened three hundred and thirteen kilometres. We are satisfied with the work because all our contractors are ahead of schedule. Despite the rains that affected some of our works we are on track.”

One of the contractors, Tensor, is now working on dualising a five-kilometre stretch of the road which is expected to be complete by next month.

“So far, we have completed 54 kilometres on our part and we hope to reach 60 kilometres next month. We have also started dualisation of the road from the 36 kilometre peg.”

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development, Honourable Oscar Gorerino summed up the road rehabilitation programme with the word ‘Satisfaction’.

“We are satisfied as a committee. This is government walking the talk and I am happy that our visitors have commended us and asked for our concept paper so that they can implement it in Zambia,” he said.

The Harare-Beitbridge jighway is one of the busiest national highways, with the upgrade set to ensure smooth flow of traffic, while also having multiplier effects on the country’s economy towards an upper middle-income society by 2030.