Dualisation of Chartergrade area to Harare begins

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Dualisation of Chartergrade area to Harare begins 
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona chats with Zanu PF Elders Council Chairperson Cde Sydney Sekeramayi during a tour of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway and Mahusekwa Road on Friday. — Picture: Justin Mutend

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

The construction of a 36km dual carriageway along the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway from the Chartergrade area to Harare’s city centre, and the relocation of the Skyline Tollgate, is now at an advanced stage.

This is part of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway reconstruction which had by last Friday opened about 440km of the nearly 600km stretch to traffic.

In an interview on Friday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said plans to relocate the Skyline Tollgate to the 36km peg along the Harare-Masvingo Road were at an advanced stage.

“We are going to relocate the Skyline Tollgate and this is good news to the neighbourhoods of Southlea Park and Hopley,” said Minister Mhona. “We are decongesting the area and we are saying we will relocate it close to the 36km peg from Harare.

“We are also going to dualise the road from that section, Chartergrade to Harare Main Post Office, and we are talking of 36km.”

Tollgates are generally not left within urban areas, but are moved beyond the edge of the urban development, or into the gaps between towns and cities, to avoid the complications of commuter traffic having to routinely pass through twice a day.”

As part of the construction of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway, the Government is dualising the road as it approaches towns or busy areas, and already, from Beitbridge about 5km have been dualised to where the roads to Masvingo and Bulawayo split, while between Ngundu Business Centre and Runde River, 16km would be dualised.

From Harare getting into Masvingo, 20km were dualised, and the Government is targeting 36km as the highway heads into Harare.

“I am happy to say that as we speak, we have opened 440km of this road,” said Minister Mhona. “But why we are here (Mahusekwa turnoff) is because we have seen that this road leads to Mahusekwa where there is a very important hospital.

“We are saying this road will decongest the great city, so that if you are going to Mutare, Marondera, or Hwedza, you don’t need to pass through Harare city centre, you have to use this road. People were talking about this road for years.”

On the Harare-Beitbridge Highway, there are plans to construct some footbridges and engineers from the Ministry of Transport have been engaged.

This will allow pedestrians to cross the highway safely. Crossing points for schoolchildren have a special priority.

Minister Mhona said in the next three weeks, they will be opening up the 15km stretch from Chartergrade closer to Manyame River.

This means from the tollgate, motorists will go straight into Chivhu and all the way to Mvuma without a detour, which represents a major milestone.

Once the entire road has been done from Beitbridge to Harare, attention will shift to the 342km Harare-Chirundu section of the main north-south corridor.

Five companies are already on site and expectations are that the highway would be completed within 18 to 24 months.

“So I am happy to say that the Second Republic is not talking, it’s walking the talk and I must hasten to give thanks to His Excellency Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, who has managed to avail resources under very difficult circumstances,” said Minister Mhona.

Zanu PF Elders Council chairperson Cde Sydney Sekeramayi said they had discussed with Minister Mhona on the need to rehabilitate the Mahusekwa Road, which is now in a bad state.

“If you are using this road, either going to Hwedza or going to Mutare or Marondera, it is the best shortest road from this direction (Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway),” he said.

“It is also an important road in that there is quite a bit of agriculture in this area and people sell their produce in Harare. They use this road to come and sell their products.

“So it’s a very important road not just for routine travel, but even economically as it is an important road for all the agricultural produce in the Marondera West area.”

Cde Sekeramayi said the rehabilitation of the road was not an election gimmick, but part of the economic development of Zimbabwe and that elsewhere, there was a lot of road infrastructural development taking place.