via Beitbridge Rd work stalls over court row 20 September 2014
THE dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare Highway has been stalled by a lawsuit which is pending in court, but the government is committed to the project which can be implemented over 4-5 years at an estimated cost of $1,3 billion, a cabinet minister has said.
ZimHighways, a consortium of local contractors won the tender for the dualisation of the highway in 2002 but the project never took off for unknown reasons and the government later cancelled the tender.
Transport and Infrastructure minister, Obert Mpofu, told The Source the condition of the Beitbridge- Harare highway – which is the country’s busiest – requires urgent attention.
“While there has been a lot of interest in financing this project (but) there are litigation challenges from ZimHighways based on an award to them to negotiate an agreement with government,” he said.
“Having failed to agree, government, through the State Procurement Board, cancelled the award leading to the current court action. We keenly await the date for the case to be heard in court.”
Mpofu noted that the high volume of haulage trucks has led to carriage deterioration and that the road of late has been characterised by head-on collisions and side-swipes.
In another development, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration says it has secured $147 million to dualise the 104 kilometre road stretch between Norton and Kadoma with work expected to start in January next year.
Zinara acting chief executive officer Moses Juma told business leaders in Bulawayo on Thursday that the project was part of the long term plans to dualise the Harare -Bulawayo Highway. He did not mention the source of the funds.
“We expect to start the Norton to Kadoma stretch by next year,” Juma said.
“The road will have nine state of the art toll plazas and five are now complete and operational. We expect to be done by December,” he said.