Govt warns road contractors over shoddy work

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Govt warns road contractors over shoddy work 
The rehabilitated section of Nemakonde Way (formerly Lomagundi Road) between Harare Drive and Westgate Shopping Centre was opened to traffic in Harare yesterday. – Picture: Joseph Manditswara

Freeman Razemba 

Senior Reporter 

CONTRACTORS who carry out shoddy jobs on roads will not receive payment from the Government until they reconstruct or rehabilitate them, a Cabinet minister has said.

Accordingly, all projects will be monitored to ensure quality delivery of work and contractors who do not meet standards will be ordered to redo the work using their own resources. 

In addition, contractors will only be paid after completing their work to the satisfaction of the Government. 

This was said yesterday by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, when he and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province, Charles Tawengwa, led a delegation to open a 1,8km stretch along Nemakonde Way ( formerly Lomagundi Road), from Harare Drive up to Westgate Traffic circle in the capital.

Recently, Minister Mhona ordered Fossil Contracting to redo the resurfacing of Lorraine Drive, which links Westgate shopping mall to Harare Drive, after substandard work saw the road curving in on many sections.

Another contractor, Asphalt Products, has also been ordered to redo part of a 1,5km stretch along Harare Drive, which it recently resurfaced. 

The part stretches from Second Street Extension, towards Alpes Road in Vainona.

Fossil will redo Lorraine Drive after completing work on Nemakonde Road.

In an interview, Minister Mhona said: “We have recently rehabilitated Harare Drive, which I can give as an example of a job which wasn’t done properly. We are saying we don’t pay for shoddy work and this must be known to the people of Zimbabwe. Whatever we take from the fiscus must be accounted for. 

“We are also saying we want to empower our own people but we won’t pay for work which has not been done properly.”

Close monitoring and supervision would see engineers presiding over poor jobs being made to account for their actions.

Apart from rehabilitating roads in the capital, Government would also focus on key roads such as Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, which is in a poor state.

“You will see us doing the adjudication in terms of the contractors who have expressed interest on that particular road, which is 760km long,” Minister Mhona said. 

Asphalt Products managing director Engineer Francis Mangwendeza assured the Government that they were attending to the stretches of roads that they had not done properly.

“If there is a problem, we will fix it. Problems will happen in engineering and, if it is identified, we will fix it. Our equipment has since been mobilised to attend to the problem areas.

“The engineer gave us an instruction about a week ago and we are going to start doing the remedial works tomorrow (today),” he said. 

Fossil Contracting company head of operations, Engineer Kudakwashe Maguta, said the stretch which was opened yesterday was the third section of the 12,6km portion from the Main Post Office to the Westgate roundabout.

The first section they opened was from the Post Office to NSSA Building, then Josiah Tongogara Avenue to Cork Road.

The Harare Drive to Westgate roundabout stretch had made it a total of 4km opened to traffic, while the remaining 8,6km were substantially complete.

Minister Tawengwa and the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development, Cde Knowledge Kaitano, thanked the Government for walking the talk by rehabilitating the country’s roads.

Motorists and businesspeople interviewed by The Herald also applauded the Government for opening up part of Nemakonde Way.

Mr Fungai Mandisodza said he was happy with the opening of the stretch as this would make it easier for him to travel to and from Nyabira, where he is based. 

Transport and logistics operator Mr Sam Mapingure said: “Most of our trucks have been spending longer periods, especially at the roundabout, as a result of congestion and I would like to thank both the Government and the contractor for quickly rehabilitating and opening up this stretch.”