$14.5 million mobilised for roads rehabilitation
HARARE – Government says it has raised $14.5 million out of the required $100 million targeted for road rehabilitation following serious damages caused by the incessant rains currently being received countrywide.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Jorum Gumbo told a press conference today that several roads and bridges have succumbed to the effects of Cyclone Dineo which caused severe road infrastructural damage particularly in the southern parts of the country and Midlands.
“Zimbabwe has so far received above normal rains; as a result the state of the roads has depleted, a situation which calls for urgent road works,” he said
Gumbo said government has set up a committee, chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to raise funds for the urgent works, adding that the already raised $14.5 million has been disbursed to various road authorities.
Gumbo said ZINARA, which is also member of the resource mobilisation committee, has been tasked to look for a $50 million loan facility from the banks to bolster the fund raising project.
“Zinara has also been contracted to repair strategic road networks particularly in Harare and urban centres,” he said.
Other members of the fundraising committee include the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC), Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development and the District Development Fund (DDF).
Gumbo said the road works will be done in three stages which imply that the first 30 days involve emergency works, while the next 60 days will be mainly composed of preventive works, with rehabilitation works taking place within six months.
Only recently, Minister Chinamasa indicated that government was in the process of crafting two infrastructure bonds, namely the Higher Education Infrastructure Bond and the Road Rehabilitation Bond.
This, he said, was in line with government’s thrust to improve state of infrastructure particularly on universities hostel construction and the rehabilitation of mostly potholed urban roads.
Chinamasa highlighted that the current state of urban roads is unbearable hence it is government’s responsibility to ensure rehabilitation exercises are conducted. Last week, President Robert Mugabe, through a notice in the Government Gazette, declared a state of disaster on Harare’s roads.
Zimbabwe has an estimated total road network of 95,000 km and according to National road development and rehabilitation programme, government requires at least $5 billion over the next 10 years for road rehabilitation and construction.