Source: Harare-Bulawayo road dualisation resumes | The Financial Gazette December 21, 2017
THE Harare-Bulawayo highway dualisation project has resumed after it ended at Norton four years ago, The Financial Gazette can report.
The dualisation is part of a project linking Plumtree and Mutare.
The tender was awarded to Infralink, a joint venture between the Zimbabwe National Road Administration and Group Five International of South Africa.
The company undertook part of the project up to Norton and dualised the Mutare-Harare highway up to Goromonzi. The Harare-Mutare and Norton to Plumtree stretches of the road were resurfaced.
The dualisation of the Harare-Bulawayo, which was conceived 21 years ago, was probably one of the world’s slowest highway projects, moving at a snail’s pace of 1,9 kilometres per year. It has so far progressed 40km from Harare to Norton. It took government 16 years to complete 30km of the highway after it stalled several times due to funding challenges.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joram Gumbo (pictured), declined to comment on the latest development, only saying: “I have just started work. That project is not new; it’s an old project.”
The project is part of a US$206 million Plumtree-Bulawayo-Harare-Mutare project.
ZINARA and Group Five had 70 and 30 percent shareholding respectively in Infralink.
Funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the highway rehabilitation was completed in 2015.
Zimbabwe has had challenges rehabilitating about 100 000km of its road network that has largely been left neglected over the past 37 years.
The country is currently struggling to dualise its busiest highway and one of southern Africa’ major arteries, the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway.
Despite a US$1 billion contract to dualise the Harare-Beitbridge section of the road having been awarded to Austrian firm Geiger International early this year, real progress still has to be seen.
The 930km highway dualisation, expected to last three years at a total US$3 billion, has been on the cards since 2002 when it was estimated to cost just over US$900 million back then.