Home » Judicial » Road Dualisation Lurches From Crisis to Another

THE dualisation of the Harare – Beitbridge has been cast in further doubt as the company contracted is going ahead with the court application challenging plans to terminate the tender.

Although the government, through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, had wanted the court case to be stopped

This publication has it in good authority that ZIM Highways Consortium is going ahead with its high court application.

This follows revelations government wanted to unilaterally cancel the tender.

The project, which was estimated to cost nearly US$1 billion has been on the cards since 2002 when Zim Highways was awarded the contract.

However, due to financial constrains the company failed to resume construction.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Permanent Secretary, Munodaishe Munodawafa, had indicated that they had reached an out of court settlement with Zim Highways but information at hand reveals the deal has fallen through.

ldquoWe had always said that litigation does not pay and we thought we had reached common ground but to me, it is a surprise development that the court application is going ahead,rdquo said Munodawafa.

The Masvingo Provincial Development Committee (PDC) for Infrastructure development this week revealed that Zim Highways was going ahead with its court application thereby further stalling the start of the giant project.

It has emerged that Zim Highways is offering to subcontract.

Acting Masvingo Provincial Administrator, Godwin Chipika, who is part of the sub committee responsible for infrastructural development, through which the envisaged dualised road will pass, confirmed the court case was pending and would proceed to be heard.

ldquoWe do not want to speak of issues that are before the courts. The whole saga is waiting a court ruling on the matter,rdquo said Chipika.

He nonetheless added, “It has come to our attention that Zim Highways want to partner other companies on the project but is totally against tender cancellation,rdquo said Chipika.

According to Chipika, Zim Highways’ litigation is being spearheaded by a man only identified as Gutukunhuwa.

Road carnage along the Harare – Beitbridge highway continues to be a cause for concern.

Obert Mpofu, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development could not be reached for comment since his mobile phone remained unanswered.

Although no official comment could be obtained from Zim Highways officials linked to the company revealed they would “take the government head on” if it goes ahead and cancels the tender.

ldquoWe are talking of indigenisation and if you block us indigenous people from getting such tenders what are we talking about,rdquo said the official who requested anonymity.

ldquoWe are going to take the bull by its horns if the state decides to dump us unprocedurerally,rdquohe added.

The country intends to dualise the Harare-Beitbridge highway and the Plumtree- Mutare highway.

The country’s roads are currently in bad shape despite the introduction of toll gates on the country’s major road a few years ago.

Money generated through payment of toll gates by motorists are supposed to be used solely for road construction and maintenance.

Source : CAJ News Agency