Dualisation of the $2 billion Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways has reached take-off stage, with government inter-ministerial committee expected to meet financiers of the project this week to finalise implementation modalities.
The road is a strategic economic regional gateway and is at the core of Zim-Asset and the 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth.
The tender for the dualisation project was awarded to Geiger International in association with China Habour Engineering Company Limited.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joram Gumbo, told journalists yesterday that a team from CHEC was already in Zimbabwe, while Geiger International officials were expected this week.
“The teams from Geiger International and CHEC shall meet with a Government inter-ministerial negotiating team to look into the finer details of this project, which include the conducting of due diligence exercises on the companies to assess their ability financially and technically to undertake the project,” he said.
“Following that award, my ministry has formally engaged the two companies for negotiations and a delegation from Geiger International is expected in Zimbabwe this week while that from Geiger International is already in the country.”
Minister Gumbo said the implementation of the project took long as due processes on the evaluation of international companies that had submitted their bids were being done.
On the six new tollgates that are ready for operation, Minister Gumbo said: “The department of roads intends to tender for the installation of six additional tollgates on Chivhu -Buhera Road, at Triangle, Collen Bawn, Karoi, on the Masvingo-Mutare Road and on the Bindura-Mt Darwin road.”
The existing tollgates are being run by Zinara and Univern Enterprises, which also traded as Southern Region Trading Company.
Minister Gumbo said since Zinara partnered Univern Enterprises, Zinara’s revenue inflows increased by more than 120 percent.
“Univern has done a very good job on toll fees collection and Zinara’s revenue has increased by about 120 percent since they partnered with Univern,” said Minister Gumbo.
“For the six new tollgates we are going to tender to do a comparison on which company can offer us the best deal.
“If Univern happens to be the best company, we do not have any problem with that. What we want is to get the best value from whatever contract we entered.”
On Air Zimbabwe, Minister Gumbo said the Ministry was at an advanced stage in the recruitment of financial and legal advisors to assist the Ministry and national airliner, while recruitment of a substantive chief executive officer was at an advanced stage.
He said they were also in the process of engaging serious financiers and technical partners for the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
“The process of engagement is continuing and we expect it to gather momentum following the appointment of a substantive general manager,” said Minister Gumbo.
“We have also commenced discussions with the industry through the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry on the recapitalisation of NRZ.”
Source: All Africa