Zimbabwe: Chivi-Mhandamabwe Roadwork Resumes

25 January 2021

Masvingo Bureau

WORK on the Chivi-Mhandamabwe Road upgrading is set to resume after Government sealed a deal with the contractor to complete outstanding work.

Completion of the project dovetails with Government's Vision 2030 as the road is key in promoting commerce by linking Beitbridge Border Post to central and western parts of the country.

The project had stopped mid last year after funds dried up, with over 30km out of the entire 48km surfaced.

Bitumen World, which won the tender to upgrade the road, had stopped operations, but the recent visit by President Mnangagwa saw the revival of the project.

President Mnangagwa visited Chivi in December last year and ordered the completion of the project for economic growth.

The President ordered Treasury to release funding for completion of the outstanding works.

Bitumen World has since mobilised equipment and has embarked on preliminary works on the outstanding portion, ahead of full-scale resumption of works.

Provincial roads engineer Mr Peter Mukome confirmed the development saying the project would now be completed.

"We signed a revised contract with the contractor who is now in phased mobilisation of equipment to finish the outstanding portion of the road," he said.

"We understand funds to complete the work were availed, hence we are hopeful that this will flow smoothly."

Mr Mukome said resumption of work was being inhibited by heavy rains, but expressed optimism that the project will resume in earnest when the rains stopped.

Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira hailed Government for walking the talk on completion of the road project.

"We are happy that President Mnangagwa is fulfilling the promise he made in December last year that the Mhandamabwe-Chivi Highway will be completed to enable speedy movement of human traffic and land cargo," he said.

"This road project is key in our provincial thrust to grow our Gross Domestic Product in line with Vision 2030."

The highway is key to the growth and expansion of Chivi Growth Point and Mhandamabwe and Chibi Turn-Off business centres.

Chibi Turn-Off was granted business centre status by President Mnangagwa a few years ago and the move paves way for its expansion, with Chivi Rural District Council already pursuing plans to create Zimbabwe's first smart city there.

Mhandamabwe is strategically located with a network of roads that link it to Zvishavane and Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo City and Beitbridge.

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