Mbudzi Interchange set for completion by July

Government officials, contractors and journalists tour Mbudzi Interchange project in Harare yesterday. The project is now more than 50 percent complete.

GOVERNMENT has so far injected US$45 million towards the construction of the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange, which is now 55 percent complete and is set to be completed by July 31 this year.

So far the Government has also compensated 42 out of 52 property owners at a cost of about US$14,8 million and only US$14,9 million is outstanding.

On the other hand, 95 families that were affected are being relocated to Hatcliffe where houses will be built for them.

The old Mbudzi roundabout had been a major vehicle traffic choke-point in southern Harare before the Government committed resources to turn it into an interchange, as the Second Republic continues to upgrade infrastructure to cope with modern demands and trends.

Some of the benefits of the project include the decongestion of the Mbudzi area by creating streamlined and efficient traffic flow and reducing transit time and accidents in the area.

The project is creating direct employment for over 700 employees and downstream activities for thousands of others, while creating skills transfer and upgrade for the Department of Roads staff.

Yesterday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, his Deputy Joshua Sacco, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Charles Tavengwa and senior Government officials led the media on a tour of the interchange.

“It is quite pleasing that finally we are here. What we are doing is not new, what you are seeing today has been happening time immemorial. We have embarked on this journey and what is of paramount importance is what we have witnessed today is emanating from Zimbabweans, just like President Mnangagwa’s mantra, ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’. This is precisely what we are saying. You have seen the works and all those who are employed.

“And I am happy that contrary to what you have been hearing in the media it is now two years or so and we are progressing very well,” he said.

Minister Mhona said the purpose of the tour was to give the nation an update on the project.

“So I thought it was quite imperative as a ministry to engage the media, the fourth estate so that we demonstrate what His Excellency Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is doing in the Second Republic, that we are not showcasing, that we are not grandstanding politically but we are here to deliver and this is what we are doing.”

He said Zimbabwe connects with various countries such as Malawi, DRC, Zambia and Mozambique hence the need for world-class road network.

The minister dismissed false and malicious reports circulating on social media that the money for the project had been squandered.

“We don’t have the so-called Mbudzi Interchange Compensation Fund. We are mobilising, and we communicate with treasury if they are properties to be compensated. And as we speak out of the 52, 42 have been compensated partially and fully,” Minister Mhona said.

The minister also explained the whole processes that were conducted during compensation through the Ministry of Local Government which does the valuations.

“I am happy that you have seen the infrastructure and we are progressing well, by July 31 this year we must have our interchange,” Minister Mhona said.

Fossil Contracting head of operations Engineer Kudakwashe Maguta also said, “Mbudzi Interchange is a graded section interchange which comprises of 15 bridges. Of the 15 bridges, 13 are on the interchange and two bridges are off-site bridges in Amalinda Drive and Harare Drive. The bridges on the interchange, about six of the bridges are substantially complete, that is bridge number two, bridge number six, bridge number eight, bridge number 10, bridge number 11 and bridge number 12, and all the other bridges, are at an advanced stage. Some are at 40 percent but the majority of them are now above 60 percent.

“So we are comfortably out of the woods, we are out of the ground now with most of the concrete structures. Overall for all the concrete works for the 15 bridges, our progress is standing at 77 percent for all the concrete structures.”

The US$88 million Mbudzi Interchange is at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze Road, Chitungwiza Road and High Glen Road in Harare.

Funding for the project is being done through local financial institutions, while the contractor for the project is a joint venture of three local road construction companies: Tensor Systems, Fossil Contracting, and Masimba Construction, collectively coming under the banner of Tefoma Construction joint venture.

Herald

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