Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
The quality of work by construction companies involved in the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) is satisfactory and the roads can last up to 20 years before requiring extensive rehabilitation, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, has said.
Minister Mhona said this as he toured works on roads such as Delport, Seke, Harare Drive and St Patricks in Harare which are being rehabilitated.
The Government took over the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads in towns and cities after realising that the inept opposition was failing or unable to channel funds towards roads rehabilitation.
“I am here to allay the fears of the people of Zimbabwe that the kind of roads we are rehabilitating will not last. The type of roads we are constructing in the Second Republic are there to stay,” said Minister Mhona.
“Looking at this particular road (Seke Road), the lifespan we are talking of is 15 to 20 years, which then needs routine maintenance.
“I am happy the Fourth Estate is here so that you see for yourself how the road is being reconstructed. I am happy you have seen for yourselves that this is a road that is going to stay.”
Minister Mhona said city roads were supposed to be under the purview of local authorities, but councils have failed to maintain them.
He said President Mnangagwa had listened to the requests by citizens for road rehabilitation to be taken over by the Government.
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) was commended by the minister for the transparent manner in which it was disbursing funds.
Government is expected to roll-out another massive road restoration exercise targeting not only highways, but those roads in communities and other feeder roads to ensure no one is left behind in line with President Mnangagwa’s demand.
Speaking during the tour, local companies involved in the road rehabilitation exercise, thanked the Government for prioritising local companies.
Frogmerge Construction Company managing director, Mr Shingi Vhiriri, said they will strive to do their best as they were not only doing it for business, but love of their country as well.
“The advantage of trusting a local company like us is that the proceeds accruing from these contracts will be reinvested locally as opposed to foreign repatriation.
“There is no way we will do a substandard job because I am sure you will agree with me that even if the Government were to employ a foreign company, it was still going to use our local and competent engineers,” said Mr Vhiriri.
Pevimag Contractors CEO Mr Peter Majengwa said: “For us as a company, the most important thing is Government’s trust and confidence in a local company.
“As a company, the challenge is on us to deliver the same quality that Government may want from multinationals and indeed we will deliver at the requisite quality.”
Zinara board chairman Dr George Manyaya said they had so far this year disbursed $5 billion towards roads and promised to remain transparent in the distribution of funds.
“From January to date, we have managed to disburse $5 billion to the road authorities which have started some of these projects across the country.
“We first took these road authorities for training on how to make use of these funds so that we did not have these yester-year challenges.
“These funds belong to the people of Zimbabwe, they should benefit and we have to be transparent,” said Dr Manyaya.