The reconstruction of the Headlands-Mayo Road under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2) is set to commence soon, as the Second Republic believes that a modernising national transport infrastructure will spur economic growth and development.
Road construction falls under the National Development Strategy 1's infrastructure cluster, and roads are regarded as key economic enablers in line with the attainment of Vision 2030 and of an empowered upper middle income society.
The Government has so far spent over $1 billion on road rehabilitation, gravelling and drainage structuring as part of the Second Republic's ERRP2 launched by President Mnangagwa early this year.
The Headlands-Mayo Road which is almost 80km, links Headlands (Manicaland province) and Mutoko (Mashonaland East).
Construction of part of the road, also comes after the Mwarazi bridge which links Headlands with Chendambuya, Nyanga, Mayo, Chinyudze, Rusape, and Maparudzi was early this year swept away leaving residents desperate. A number of bridges, roads, and other infrastructure were destroyed during the previous rain season.
The community had been relying on the Mwarazi bridge to access health facilities, schools, and agricultural markets, mainly the Grain Marketing Board depots.
Residents called for a speedy rehabilitation of the Mwarazi bridge as the disaster had forced them to use a detour.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, his deputy Mike Madiro, Minister of State for Manicaland Nokhuthula Matsikinyeri, and other senior Government officials then toured the site and expressed the need for quick action.
The Mwarazi bridge has since been repaired and efforts are now being made to reconstruct the road by government. Reconstruction started in April 2021 and the project was completed in September 2021
Last week, Minister Mhona and other senior Government officials toured the Headlands-Mayo Road and expressed satisfaction over the developments.
Reconstruction of the road is set to commence after Government has conducted all the required process including the tender processes.
In an interview yesterday, the minister confirmed that the reconstruction of the Mwarazi shelvert which was washed away in February following incessant rains earlier this year was now complete.
"The gospel of development is not stopping and we are not leaving anyone behind. Last Thursday, I toured the reconstructed Mwarazi shelvert (under ERRP2) along the Headlands-Mayo road. The road links Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces via Mutoko," he said.
Minister Mhona also added that plans to repair the Rwenya Bridge in Nyamapanda were at an advanced stage with the contractor, Bitumen World, expected to be soon on-site.
The bridge which links Mashonaland East and Manicaland Provinces was damaged by Cyclone Eline in 2013.
The massive damage then crippled service delivery and easy access to critical resources like health facilities and education for the communities in both provinces
By August 2018, Government had released $30 million in six months to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme in Manicaland to repair and reconstruct major roads in the province that had suffered from years of neglect and adverse weather conditions.
The funding was availed by the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
By then, at least $200 million was required rehabilitate all roads in the province.
Government has so far rehabilitated more than a third of targeted roads under the emergency road rehabilitation programme (ERRP), which was launched in March this year.
The US$400 million ERRP, which was launched by President Mnangagwa, is a countrywide initiative premised on roads being networks that promote beneficial social and economic activities by ensuring a smooth flow of goods and services.
Under ERRP, 840km of roads around the country will be rehabilitated and reconstructed, while 8 340km will be re-gravelled and 17 093km set to be regraded this year.