Government has struck a $100 million deal with banks to rehabilitate the country’s damaged roads, Transport minister Jorum Gumbo has said.
This comes as rampaging floods, which injured 128 people and displaced at least 1 985, washed away several bridges and roads in major highways in southern parts of Zimbabwe.
The funds — mobilised with the assistance of Zinara and the Treasury — are set to be channelled to urban and rural district councils, and other road departments.
Gumbo said in the meantime, government has been conducting emergency works on the country’s roads. He said Manicaland Province’s Stapleford and Honde Valley roads’ washed away sections have been fixed and are now open to traffic.
On-going projects include Chikwizi Bridge repairs along Mutare-Masvingo road, which is now 65 percent complete. Repair works at Murare Bridge along Mutare-Masvingo road is now at 80 percent complete.
Harare City Council has resolved to engage 450 general workers on a three-month contract basis to assist in repairing damaged roads under the Government-supported Emergency Roads Rehabilitation programme.
The general labourers will be paid a gross salary of $244,48 per month each.
According to the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee minutes, council noted that the city’s roads were declared a national disaster by Government.
The committee said director of works Engineer Phillip Pfukwa reported that general labourers had previously been engaged for drain-clearing and that their re-engagement had been prompted by the need to urgently repair rain-damaged roads.
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration has released $1,7 million in emergency road funds to Harare City Council for the rehabilitation of the city’s roads, which were recently declared a state of disaster. Harare is expecting at least $15 million for its 2017 allocation considering the state of the city’s roads.
According to the recent minutes of the Environmental Management Committee, councillors noted that Zinara had disbursed $1,7 million in 2016 and council was owed road and maintenance grants by Zinara dating back to 2015, which the road authority had promised to pay.
Last year, Zinara announced that it had allocated $1,2 million for road maintenance, but it is still to release the funds. “The committee further noted that the funds were inadequate for the repair or maintenance of the 7 000km of roads, drains, public lighting, traffic signals and other street furniture,” read the minutes.
FORTY percent of the 800 000 registered vehicle owners in the country are not paying for Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) licences, a development which is affecting road rehabilitation programmes.
In an interview at Zinara’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) stand yesterday, the road authourity’s director of operations, Mr Precious Murove, urged motorists to pay their licences to help fund road maintenance works.
“In the country, according to our database, we have about 800 000 vehicles and 60 percent of that figure are compliant with the law and 40 percent are non-compliant. This is a strategy to ensure that the motoring public are in compliance with the law,” said Mr Murove.
“The issue is to do with compliance, the revenue base that we collect as Zinara is not adequate to make sure that we complete maintenance and rehabilitation of our road infrastructure. More money is needed to be channelled for road rehabilitation and road maintenance.”
He said for the duration of the ZITF, which ends tomorrow, motorists would be exempted from paying Zinara penalties as a way of encouraging them to be up to date.
GWERU City Council (GCC) has received two state- of -the art earth moving machines worth over $250 000 which are part of equipment worth $1,2 million council has bought for road maintenance.
On Monday, GCC received a backhoe truck valued at $92 895 after receiving a grader valued at $158 000 last week.
A local company Rubitech was awarded a tender to supply the equipment which includes a grader, bulldozer, backhoe and an excavator last year, but there has been a delay in delivering the machinery.
Gweru Town Clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said all the equipment was supposed to have been delivered last year, but so far they have received the grader and backhoe truck.
She said the delay in delivering the equipment had resulted in council failing to maintain and rehabilitate its road network.
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