Main Zim highway dualisation commissioned
By Lovemore Ranga Mataire
Harare – President Mugabe on Thursday commissioned the dualisation of Zimbabwe’s main highway linking the country with South Africa and Zambia.
Besides facilitating smooth flow of goods and people, the US$1-billion Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways dualisations will also enhance safety on one of the busiest roads in the country.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the dualisation took place at Chaka business centre in Chirumanzu, some 229 km away from the capital Harare.
After years of several rehabilitation efforts, the government finally contracted Geiger International of Austria to dualise the highway on a 25-year Build Operate and Transfer model.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the project would be done in phases with the first phase being the one launched by President Mugabe at Chaka Business Centre. The first phase will have the dualisation of Beitbridge-Harare while the Harare-Chirundu’s timelines are still being worked out.
“We are happy that the dualisation will finally start and though it may not totally end road accidents along the highway, we believe for those drivers who are careful, the number of accidents will go down,” said Dr Gumbo.
Besides commissioning the highway, President Mugabe was also expected to commission the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, the largest in-land dam in the country completed late last year at a cost of US$260 million.
The dam has the capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres and is currently at 70 percent full capacity.
Secretary for Environment, Water and Climate Mr Prince Mupazviriho said the completion of the dam was a major milestone in the history of Zimbabwe, particularly in the semi-arid southern part of the country.
It is envisaged that the dam will invigorate economic activities in the agriculture and tourism sectors as well as create job opportunities for people in the surrounding areas of Masvingo and Chiredzi.