Source: City road works resume | The Herald November 28, 2018
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Most of the companies contracted by Harare City Council to rehabilitate city roads resumed work yesterday after council processed payments worth over $3 million.
However, one of the major contractors, Bitumen World, and council are still to find each other, with the company claiming it had run out of working capital, demanding to be paid within three days.
Harare Mayor Cllr Herbert Gomba confirmed the development on Monday, saying council managers were reviewing systems to ensure swift payment to road contractors.
The contractors had stopped work claiming that Harare City Council was delaying paying them although the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) had availed the funds.
“Council managers met in my office to discuss ways of reducing red tape,” he said.
“They agreed to speed up work verifications and quantum in order to pay what has been done, quality issues must be attended to as well in order to address residents’ concerns.
“Contractors have returned to work after discussions and payment. Bitumen is supposed to be working in Harare Street, Fossil in Takawira Street and T/C will do Robert Mugabe Road. Tencraft is working in Mandara and Kamfinsa areas.”
Chief engineer of works George Munyonga on Monday said the city was processing other payments and it had already paid the contractors $3 million.
“We have so far processed certificates worth over $3 million and we are still processing some payments,” he said.
He said council was still to reach an agreement with Bitumen World.
Bitumen World, which is carrying out most of the work under the Government’s Emergency Roadworks Rehabilitation Project, said it was forced to stop work as Harare City Council failed to remit $4 million allocated by Zinara.
Harare City Council corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme confirmed the delay in payments last week.
“There has been a delay, but it is administrative,” he said.
“Some of the contractors have asked for price variations. We are still waiting for the approvals to pay the new prices from the relevant authorities.
“We have communicated the same to the contractors.”
The city says Government’s Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme will go a long way in addressing problems in most of Harare’s public transport routes, but it requires over $600 million to bring the city’s roads to a manageable state.
Phase II of the programme which is underway focuses on major rehabilitation works, reconstruction of damaged bridges, including preventive periodic maintenance works and rehabilitation of failed sections of the road network.