Finance minister Tendai told Parliament on Wednesday government departments had ironed out the “contentious issues” stalling the upgrading of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo, adding the project was now set to resume this month end.
Presenting his Mid-Term Budget Review statement, Biti said the new terminal would be fully operational at the end of the year. He said work stopped in June last year following concerns over the rapid cost escalations emanating from variations to the works, as well as the huge financial demands by the contractors to complete the current works.
“Following resolution of the contentious issues around the implementation of the project, I am happy to announce that work will resume this month. This will enable operationalisation of the airport by year end,” said Biti.
The commissioning of the terminal building was initially scheduled for April last year before being shifted to June, then July last year before it was postponed indefinitely. Over 15 contractors are part of the project, which also involves the refurbishment of the international arrivals’ hall, a variety of shops, a car park and a separate State pavilion. The project has taken over a decade to complete due to financial constraints. It is one of the several projects aimed at preserving the late Vice-President’s legacy.