More funding for road works to be availed

By ZBC Reporter

Government has reiterated its commitment to funding the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, with at least six billion Zimbabwe dollars having been disbursed since the start of the programme.

Early this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country’s roads a state of disaster after they were damaged by heavy rains, with government putting in place a budget of more than 30 billion Zimbabwe dollars towards rehabilitation efforts.

In an interview with ZBC News on the sidelines of a strategic planning workshop in Mutare recently, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Honourable Felix Mhona revealed that at least 6 billion Zimbabwe dollars has so far been channelled towards road works across the country.

We have been moving with speed to rehabilitate the roads despite mobilising our resources domestically and the impact of Covid-19. After the declaration of the emergency roads rehabilitation programme a budget of 400 million United States dollars was made. The emergency roads rehabilitation programme is running for three years ending in February 2024.As we speak we are seized with emergency works such as pothole patching and as we move towards 2022 we are now focused on major reconstruction works. The 400 million United States dollars translates to 33 billion dollars under the prevailing exchange rate. And as we speak Zinara and the Ministry of finance has disbursed close to 6 billion. The 33 billion is to cover 3 years, he said.

Minister Mhona also warned contractors against poor workmanship.

We are moving towards digitalisation to mitigate against corruption by reducing human interface. We have gone electronic in terms of the learners licence. The second republic is moving with speedy in trying to mitigate issues of corrupt tendencies. We are promoting transparency by disclosing contracts granted to contractors. We are saying we need to effectively monitor and evaluate the work in progress. I hear some concern from other stakeholders that at times the quality is compromised. We urge   constructors to uphold the issues of quality. Where we think that there has been bad workmanship we request the contractor to re-do the project. We have given contracts to almost 80 different contractors in order to empower our people but we realise that other contractors are not performing to expectations, he added.

The Second Republic is on a drive to modernise infrastructure, including the road network, as the country gravitates towards an upper middle-income society by 2030.

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