BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said government is planning to construct provincial airports, with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe tasked to oversee the project.
Speaking during a tour of the rehabilitated 54km stretch of part of the Tanganda-Ngundu Highway on Thursday, Matiza said feasibility studies were being carried for the construction of new infrastructure in the form of airports at provincial levels.
“Government has begun the process of constructing airports in the province as we move to reinforce the open for business mantra as well as implementation of the devolution process. We need the roads, we need the airports,” he said.
“The potential in the provinces is very high. As a ministry, we are cognisant of this fact and we would want to see that the economy grows through the contribution of upgrading and building new infrastructure,” he said.
“Currently, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is carrying out feasibility studies for the construction of these airports.”
Matiza is currently touring new road projects across the country following the release of funds by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara).
Yesterday, the minister visited Pfungwe to check progress on the construction of Mutawatawa-Pfungwe Road.
Zinara said it had released $240 million for road construction and maintenance to be disbursed to local authorities. This year’s allocation has increased by more than 40% compared to last year, when only $188 million was released.
Zinara finance director Simon Taranhike, however, expressed concern over councils’ failure to exhaust road construction funds advanced to them.
“As the case with Manicaland province, last year, we allocated about $7,5m, but only $3,8m was claimed. This year, we allocated $8,9m and the money is there for the (local) road authorities,” he said.