BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Government has availed $150 million for the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway, with the construction of detours already underway.
Speaking to journalists after touring one of the sites being worked on in Beatrice yesterday, Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza said the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has since disbursed $40 million for road construction set to be completed in three-and-half years.
“So far, the budget is $150 million, but currently, the money allocated by Zinara is $40 million. By next week, we are going to open the detour roads to allow us to work on the actual roads,” he said.
“The rehabilitation of the actual road starts next week and will take three-and-half years to complete.”
Construction works have already started in Beatrice and Chivhu, with the project being done by the Department of Roads.
Matiza said the first phase will see the rehabilitation of the actual road, before dualisation, which comes in the second phase.
“Dualisation is second phase, but as we approach 10 kilometres before the town, we dualise and 10kms after the town we also dualise. The door is open for foreign companies to come on board, but for now we are using local resources,” Matiza added.
Three years ago, former President Robert Mugabe led a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the road that never started.
The highway is considered as the busiest in southern Africa, linking South Africa and other countries in the region.