Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT is working on a new model of speeding up the rehabilitation of roads through capacitating the Central Mechanical and Engineering Department (CMED), Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said.
Government has set aside US$8,3 million for roads rehabilitation across the country under a strategic outsourcing arrangement with contractors to cut on high leasing costs.
In an interview soon after touring a 2km stretch under rehabilitation on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road in Gwayi area, Hwange District yesterday, Minister Matiza said Government was concerned about the pace at which roads projects were progressing.
The project has been “work in progress” for the past three years largely due to inadequate funding forcing contractors to withdraw their machinery.
Minister Matiza attributed the delays to an attitude by some contractors who were in the habit of pulling out and withdrawing their equipment in the event of a slight delay in payments.
The ministry has resolved to employ a new model to speed up road works through capacitating CMED with the required equipment after realising that it is expensive to lease or hire equipment.
“This project took time largely because of the model that we were using by heavily relying on hiring equipment. We are now looking at a new model of capacitating CMED and make sure the project proceeds well,” Minister Matiza said.
He said under the new model, 30 percent of work will be done by the Government with 70 percent going out to contractors to create local employment.
He said the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road plays a critical role both in the country and regional through promoting the growth of the tourism industry and other economic activities revolving around the sector.
He said domestic tourism and business in Victoria Falls were affected by the poor state of the road.
Minister Matiza said in line with Vision 2030, which aims to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy, there is need to construct roads, which are safe and match international [email protected]