GOVERNMENT has identified 14 road projects to strengthen infrastructure with assistance from investors as the 2014 budget allocation for the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry was inadequate, a top official has said.
By Tarisai Mandizha
Speaking at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development post-budget analysis meeting yesterday, Secretary for Transport Munesu Munodawafa said work on the identified road projects will be done under the build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) arrangement due to the limited budget allocation of $69 million which was less than the initial $1,3 billion requested.
“We have now put 14 roads to be worked on under BOT where the investors come into Zimbabwe, invest their money and we allow them to recoup their money maybe over a period of 15 to 20 years or more,” he said.
Munodawafa said among the set aside BOT projects are Birchenough Bridge and the small airports which include Buffalo Range, Masvingo, Hwange, Kariba and Charles Prince.
“We do appreciate that government, with the little resources, has managed to give us a budget allocation of $69 million, but $1,3 billion encompassed all the projects that we wanted to do.
“Because the fact that the money is not what we had bid for does not necessarily mean that we will not be able to perform. For example, on the roads sector we realised it is an expensive sector, but government does not have the money to pay for road construction up start,” Munodawafa said.
Munodawafa said the ministry was allocated $2 million out of the required $4,6 million to pay service providers who upgraded facilities at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport.
The airport was officially opened by President Robert Mugabe last month.