The government of Zimbabwe has set aside US $693m for the rehabilitation and widening of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway over the next three years.
According to Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa who confirmed the reports, the road will be widened from the current seven meters to 12.5 meters making it at par with the N1 highway in South Africa and the Chirundu-Lusaka Road in Zambia.
Monica Mutsvangwa pointed out that the immense of the road construction will be carried out by the local contractors while government concludes negotiations with Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group Limited (AFECC), a Chinese firm contracted to implement the dualisation exercise. Sections of the road to be dualised is estimated to cost US $466m.
“The Cabinet received a briefing by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development (Joel Biggie Matiza) on progress in the rehabilitation and dualisation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway, following the decision by Government to use resources from the Road Fund, while waiting the conclusion of ongoing discussion with AFECC, a Chinese investor on the project,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
RiskS along the major highway
Phase one of the road upgrade will consist of rehabilitation and widening of the existing road from the current meters width to Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) standards of 12,5 meters. Phase 2 will entail the dualisation of the rest of the sections of the road at a cost of $466 million.
The decision to commence work on the rehabilitation and dualisation of the highway using local resources was taken in light of the fact that a lot of time has already been lost on the project and that the lives of the travelling public continued to be at risk along this major highway which joins the North-South Development Corridor in the sub-region.
“To ensure value for money and high quality work, a reputable international consultancy company will be engaged as independent project engineer,” said the minister.