via PM urges respect for deadlines in Beira-Zimbabwe road – The Zimbabwean 4 October 2015
Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday demanded that the Chinese contractor, the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, comply rigorously with the deadlines established for concluding the rehabilitation and improvement of the Beira-Zimbabwe highway.
Cited in Saturday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, Rosario was speaking during a visit to the road construction site on the banks of the Pungue river, in Dondo district, in the central province of Sofala. He insisted that the 287 kilometre long road should be repaired with good quality and on time.
The work on the road is budgeted at 410 million US dollars, financed by the Mozambican government and by the Chinese ExImport Bank. Work began on 1 April, and under the terms of the contract should be concluded by 31 March 2018.
Rosario expressed concern at the fate of 900 families in Sofala and the neighbouring province of Manica who must be resettled to make way for the improved road. He insisted that the interests of these families should not be prejudiced.
The Sofala provincial director of public works, Manuel Fobra, assured the Prime Minister that the resettlement is being coordinated with the local administrative authorities, and all care is being taken to avoid problems. He said that communities have already agreed with resettlement in Beira, and in various towns and rural areas along the route of the road.
The road works will also affect 39 kilometres of water mains, 89 kilometres of electricity transmission lines, and communication cables along the entire length of the road.
Staff involved in the construction told Rosario that the work so far has pushed ahead without any upsets. In particular 32 of the foundation stakes for the second bridge across the Pungue between Dondo and Nhamatanda had already been placed.
The construction involves 1,320 Mozambican workers and 153 foreigners. The road is a key part of the Beira development corridor, and is used by trucks not only from Mozambique, but from landlocked countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi taking cargo to and from the port of Beira.