Elita Chikwati, Senior Reporter – The Herald Newspaper
The second phase of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme has begun with the Second Republic budgeting $33,6 billion and Zinara already disbursing $2,3 billion as Government intensifies efforts to rehabilitate the country’s road network.
This follows the declaration of state of national disaster for all roads by Government on February 9 this year.
President Mnangagwa then launched the secondphase of the emergency programme, ERRP2, in Mt Darwin recently with a Government budget of $33,6 billion.
Zinara spokesperson, Mr Tendai Mugabe yesterday confirmed the disbursement of funds to various road authorities for ERRP2 and other road projects.
“A good road network is vital for us to realise Vision 2030. So far, we have disbursed $2,3 billion for road works that include ERRP and periodic and routine road maintenance since the beginning of the year.
“Under ERRP, we have disbursed advance payments to all road authorities and road works have already started in earnest in all provinces. This is a special project being championed by Government following a public outcry on the state of roads that were heavily damaged by heavy rains received in most parts of the country during the just ended rainfall season. President Mnangagwa heeded the public outcry and declared all roads a state of national disaster paving way for the launch of the ERRP2,” he said.
Mr Mugabe said some road authorities were delaying asking for their allocated funds thereby slowing down the pace of road works in some parts of the country.
“Some road authorities are taking long to claim their allocated funds and we are pleading with them to expedite their claims so that our road infrastructure is attended to without delay,” he said. “As Zinara, we are ready to disburse the funds once we receive the necessary paperwork.”
Teams were already deployed in the field to monitor progress on road rehabilitation.
Under ERRP2, Government is targeting to rehabilitate 10 000 kilometres of roads countrywide.
The rehabilitation and modernisation of the country’s road infrastructure so far have seen the opening of more than 160 kilometres to traffic on the Harare-Beitbridge road and the refurbishment of the Karoi-Binga road among other roads.
Last week President Mnangagwa officially commissioned the completed phase Marongora-Hellsgate section of the Makuti-Chirundu road funded by the Japanese government for US$21 million and several other roads completed roads are now ready for commissioning in various parts of the country.