The rehabilitation and upgrading of roads countrywide is expected to be scaled up following the recent relaxation of procurement procedures, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said.
Speaking during a tour of the Alaska-Copper Queen Road in Makonde District on Monday, Minister Matiza said the procurement processes had to be realigned to allow for speedy acquisition of materials required for road rehabilitation.
He said efforts were underway to engage the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the release of the proposed funds for Alaska-Copper Queen road so that operations could resume.
“The Government has relaxed and realigned procurement procedures as a measure to improve work on the roads that we are working on as a ministry,” said Minister Matiza.
“We are going to push and speed up works on this road as it shortens the distance from Harare to Nembudziya. Whatever resources that had been procured for the first 10km stretch are going to be utilised during the first week of July as we resume operations.”
Minister Matiza said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected efforts by Government to rehabilitate roads, as attention was moved to curbing the spread of the disease, while grain imports to supplement the national yield were chewing part of the funds earmarked for roads.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development was allocated US$7 million for the first 10km stretch, with US$3 million and $12 million so far availed.
Mashonaland West Province resident engineer for the ministry, Engineer Simbarashe Gomo expressed optimism that the road would be completed in the next five months, although it has taken three years to fix a 5-kilometre stretch, which is yet to be primed and tarred.