Road carnage along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway is set to continue until 2019, with government indicating that the planned dualisation project might take up to five years to complete.
By Tatenda Chitagu/Hazvinei Mwanaka
Dubbed “the highway of death”, the road, which has claimed thousands of lives, among them former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, and former Zanu PF political commissar Border Gezi, has been long earmarked for dualisation, but the project experienced several false starts after a civil engineering company, which was contracted to dualise it, failed to deliver, leading to a long-drawn court process.
However, the government intervened this year and the tender was awarded to a new contractor.
In an interview on the sidelines of the commissioning of the refurbished Buffalo Range Airport by Tongaat Hulett and Malilangwe Trust in Chiredzi last Friday, Transport deputy minister, Michael Madanha said work on the road should start early next year and should be completed “in four or five years’ time”.
“The Minister of Finance (Patrick Chinamasa) allocated $1,9 million for the project and we expect work to commence early next year. If there are no interruptions, like lack of money, we expect the dualisation to be complete in four to five years,” Madanha said.
“It should be (done) in phases.”
Madanha hinted private players would be roped into the project.
“We don’t have much money in our Treasury and that is a constraint, but with the smart partnerships we introduced, it should be faster. At this stage, however, I cannot name the partners,” he said.