Harare-Beitbridge highway Nears Completion.

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The rehabilitation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway is about 80 percent complete with 470 km out of the total 580 km of the road now opened to traffic, a move hailed by motorists.

 

Yesterday, the Government opened a 5.4km stretch in Mvuma which was recently reconstructed.

The rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway and modernization of the Beitbridge Border Post to bring in efficient systems aimed at reducing or eliminating delays are some of the signature projects of President Mnangagwa’s administration.

 

Beitbridge Border Post has already been commissioned by the President and users of the busiest land border in the SADC region have commended the speed with which they are being cleared.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday led a delegation on a tour of the highway where he opened the 5,4km part of the road in Mvuma, starting from the Gweru turnoff.

 

In an interview, Minister Mhona said he was happy with the progress made so far along the highway.

 

“I am happy as the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development standing here to demonstrate that we are in the Second Republic and you don’t see us in offices.

 

“Just to mirror what our iconic leader His Excellency Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is doing, we now have to walk the talk and we have opened today, a 5.4km stretch which was the outstanding stretch between Harare and Masvingo.

 

“The stretch is in a wetland so it took time for the contractor (Fossil Contracting) to work on the particular stretch. What I like about the Second Republic is that we are building our nation in line with the President’s mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” and we are using our resources.

 

“We have done close to 470km and if we talk of Harare to Masvingo which is close to 296km, the only missing link is the Manyame Bridge and also at Fairfields where we have a 1km stretch.

 

“Why that is the missing link is because we are going build a road over the rail bridge and we are also working at Manyame Bridge so that the connectivity now between Harare and Masvingo, the 296km will be complete,” he said.

The government would also work on other feeder roads such as from Mvuma to Gweru and Mvuma going to Kwekwe.

 

These would offload the burden from Harare-Bulawayo Road so that those who want to go to Gweru would also come through Chivhu, Mvuma then to Gweru.

 

“But the exciting thing about this movement we are running with as a Ministry is the idea to pursue and run with stalled projects. You have seen across the country, in cities we are busy attending to the stalled projects and a number of these projects are being completed just before the advent of the rains.

 

“We have said to the rural district councils, in particular Chirumanzu, that we also need to move with speed so that we rehabilitate our rural roads that had been neglected for some time,” the Minister said.

 

On the Harare-Chirundu Road, Minister Mhona said the ministry had already engaged the contractors and they would soon start from Beitbridge going to Bulawayo and then Victoria Falls.

 

Fossil Contracting general manager Engineer Kudzaishe Magodoro said: “We want to thank the Second Republic for giving us this opportunity to do this road. So far, we have done 116km in total and today we are opening 5,4km of part of the road and we are so happy.”

 

Motorists interviewed by The Herald along the highway thanked the Government for attending to and reconstructing the country’s major roads which were in a bad state.

 

Mr Tawanda Gandawa said he was happy that the stretch had finally been opened and hoped the Government would soon complete the project. He urged other motorists not to get over-excited and speed along the highway as this would cost lives.

 

Another motorist Mr Stephen Sithole called on law enforcement agents to increase visibility on the roads to curb road carnage.

 

Mr Givemore Nsingo said: “We are happy that the road has finally been opened to traffic as we were finding it difficult to drive through some of the detours near this stretch. We should abide by the speed limits and obey traffic rules and regulations”.

 

The entire north-south corridor has been divided into three sections: the 580km Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway together with eight toll plazas, the 342km Harare-Chirundu highway with six toll plazas, and the 59km Harare Ring Road with three toll plazas.

 

These tolls are aimed at paying for the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads.

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