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Construction of access roads to New Parly Building begins

CONSTRUCTION of about 26km of access roads in the Mount Hampden area has started through Government contracts to link to the New Parliament Building, Bindura Road and other surrounding areas and ease anticipated congestion in the northwest of Harare.

A local contractor, Bitumen World, which is conducting the works, is now on site, constructing about 13km of the Old Mazowe Road from Westgate roundabout and is expected to complete all the roads by July 31 this year.

After constructing the 13km, Government will later this year reconstruct the other part of the road up to Mazowe, linking it with Bindura Road. 

The other road currently under construction is the 7km boulevard that stretches from Bindura Road straight to the New Parliament Building. It will have eight lanes (four on the right side and four on the left side) and all this will be done by mid-year.

Others are the 4,7km crescent around Parliament and a 2km road that will also lead to Parliament.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Charles Tavengwa and other Government officials yesterday conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the roads in Mt Hampden.

In an interview, Minister Mhona said the idea behind the project was to demonstrate to the nation that they were not just electioneering but out to deliver real meaningful progress.

“I am very happy to be addressing this important gathering. Today we are here in Mt Hampden to demonstrate and run with the vision of His Excellency Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, our great leader who has championed infrastructural development in a very big way. According to his mantra, we are not going to leave anyone or any place behind. 

“This is precisely what we are doing and you have seen in the previous weeks that we are not staying in offices, the idea is to demonstrate to the people of Zimbabwe that we are not just electioneering but we are here to deliver real meaningful progress and this what we are doing.

“And you know as a member of SADC we are saying we need to showcase to the outside world that we are in a position to rehabilitate, reconstruct our roads and in particular our infrastructure and today we are witnessing this groundbreaking ceremony,” he said. 

Minister Mhona said Bitumen World was going to first rehabilitate a 13km stretch from the Westgate roundabout and widen it to about 12,5 metres.

A artist’s impression of the roads that will be constructed by Bitumen World in Mt Hampden.

“The idea is to promote trafficability, easy access to Parliament, but above all we will also move on to do the Boulevard Road. This is the road that is directly linking Parliament with Bindura Road and this is going to be about 6,4km, you can round it up to about 7km where we are going to be putting a number of lanes. We will start with four lanes on each side and we need to demonstrate what a modern road will be like.

“We are saying to the people of Zimbabwe, yes, this is what we are doing as a ministry but I always say under difficult circumstances in terms of resource mobilisation. But again credit to the great leader Cde Dr Mnangagwa, who has said let’s use our domestic resources and this is what we are doing.

“Instead of waiting for Treasury, we need to think outside the box so that we have strategic alliances. We have got partnerships with the private sector, we have got loan finances being supported by Treasury, at the end of the day this is what we are riding on,” he said.

The ministry was not only going to target that road but other roads within the city starting from Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

Minister Mhona called for Zimbabweans to be patient, saying infrastructure development was intensive in terms of capital and the nature of the work, hence the entire nation cannot be rehabilitated at the same time.

The ministry was going to move into rural constituencies where they were working very closely with Zinara to procure equipment for rural district councils.

“Like what I have indicated, we are declaring zero tolerance to potholes on our roads and in terms of losing our precious lives. So you will see us also descending on our major roads,” Minister Mhona said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Minister Tavengwa said road infrastructure was one of the key pillars that supported economic development and it was evident that the Government, led by President Mnangagwa, “is walking the talk in bringing development to this nation”. 

He said Mt Hampden was a budding new city which started off with the New Parliament Building and will gradually become the administrative centre of Zimbabwe. 

“Therefore, road infrastructure is key for this centre to serve its purpose. The 44th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit will be hosted by Zimbabwe right here at Mt Hampden and with the understanding that an efficient transportation infrastructure is crucial for trade, investment and connectivity, let us continue to step up and realise the commitment we have made in supporting, not only roads, but all developmental projects in Harare Metropolitan Province and the country at large. 

“Let us cooperate and harness the benefits of teamwork, for together we will emerge victorious. Once again welcome to Harare Metropolitan Province, the pulse of the nation,” he said.

Bitumen World chief executive officer Mr Andre Zietsman said: “We are very happy and very privileged as a company to be involved in this project. It’s a milestone in this country, we are going to be part of history and we are very happy that all the works will be done around the new Parliament.

“We are very proud to be associated with this project and we would like to thank our parent ministry and also the President for his vision and from our side we will ensure that we will deliver this project on time. The project is about 26km in total and we have five months to complete it, so it will be all hands on deck and we have to complete this project by July 31 ahead of the SADC summit.”

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development, Cde Knowledge Kaitano, who is also the legislator for Mudzi West, said road infrastructure was very critical in any place because it facilitated the movement of people and goods.

Herald

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