Beitbridge-Harare Highway dualisation timelines to be set

Source: Beitbridge-Harare Highway dualisation timelines to be set | The Herald June 3, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Government and the financier of the $2,71 billion Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway dualisation project are next week expected to agree on when the project should start.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said they wanted the project to be completed within three years.

As such, the road will be segmented into at least eight portions to be worked on concurrently.

He said this was one of the issues to be discussed when they meet officials from Geiger International and its contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), on Monday.

Geiger International is an Austrian company based in China while CHEC is a subsidiary of state-owned China Communications Construction Company.

“On Monday we are going to be meeting with officials from the financier Geiger International and its partner CHEC, which is the contractor, to agree on implementation processes such as dates for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding as well as when the project will start,” said Minister Gumbo.

“We want to segment the road that is going to be dualised. For instance Beitbridge to Harare will have a minimum of five segments, while Chirundu will have at least three segments. We want a simultaneous operation because our intention is to finish the road within three years. These are the issues we are going to be deliberating on when we meet officials from Geiger and CHEC.”

Dr Gumbo bemoaned the delay it has taken to dualise the road despite having it in the pipeline for years.

“It is really urgent that we dualise the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway because it is the shorter route inland and for exports from South Africa.

“So we are being pushed by the fact that if we don’t act, we will lose out on transit revenue because South Africa and Botswana are already working on that corridor linking Botswana and Zambia through Kazungula Bridge,” he said.

“So the good thing is that the financier has mobilised the funds and the contractor is there. So finally we are going to see work happening. Serious discussions for the dualisation of this road have been going on for years which is not good for investment. We need to move things the moment we decide to do something,” said Minister Gumbo.

Minister Gumbo said in line with Government’s thrust to empower locals through Zim-Asset, Geiger International was expected to identify local companies to work with on the project.

“That is not in dispute, it’s in the agreement that there will be local participation. In the Monday meeting we are also going to agree on what can be procured from outside and what is procured from within Zimbabwe. All that will be advertised at the right time but be rest assured that locals will benefit,” said Minister Gumbo.

He said that the Department of Roads had completed location of the road line, while identification of land owners was under way. Dr Gumbo said Geiger International was in the process of assembling its team.



  • comment-avatar

    Local participants! My Word! Why not call it Shona participation? The country is to biased towards the Shona. Look at the latest judicial appointments. Look at replacement of the Shona judge Mutema by the Shona judge Bere for senior judge in charge for Bulawayo. Before then it was the Shona Chiweshe. Even companies in Bulawayo are now Shona. Government departments are the same. Projects for the Ndebele regions bring in the Shona too. Nothing is changing for the better in tribal balance in this country. Unfortunately leaders from the region are subordinate to the perpetrators of gukurahundi and the grand plan.