Minister inspects ‘shoddy’ roadworks on Harare Drive

07 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Minister inspects ‘shoddy’ roadworks on Harare Drive Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona (foreground) and other Government officials inspect the poor work done on Harare Drive.

Suburban

Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona on Tuesday toured Harare Drive to inspect the repairs on the road following reports that the contractor Asphalt Products had done a “shoddy” job.

Speaking at the tour, Minister Mhona said Government wants the road to be repaired to recommended standards. “We did not come to embarrass you but to take corrective measures and move forward,” he said.

In response, Mr Francis Mangwendeza of Asphalt Products said if there is a problem his company would fix it.

“Problems will happen in engineering and if they are identified we fix them.

“We are going to do all the remedial works and once those are fully acceptable to the Ministry, then we continue,” he said.

Provincial Road Engineer for Harare Metropolitan Province in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Albert Muchena said the contractor laid asphalt on part of the road without using a pneumatic roller leading to a bumpy and uneven surface.

“When we realised the following day, we told him to remove whatever he had done or alternatively put another asphalt overlay.

“He was supposed to start today.

“When I learnt that the Minister is passing through, I told him to start tomorrow morning (Wednesday),” he said.

Eng Muchena said the Ministry of Transport does not tolerate shoddy work and he would personally come to monitor the remedial road work.

“He is redoing this section (between Sam Nujoma and Alpes Road), he has the instruction.

“I assure you I will be here myself when he starts redoing the road,” he said.

Eng Muchena said they had identified all the sections Asphalt Products had messed up.

“We identified other sections and other pockets. It’s about 1,5km. The stretch that you drove on is not up to our standard. And our contractors did the work on their own. We are not paying them until we have certified their work. What he had done, he wasn’t paid. And when he is redoing, he is using his money. We will not speak about money until the work has been approved.”

Minister Mhona said their mission was not to undress the contractor but to help them rectify their mistakes.

“We want to thank His Excellency, Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for empowering our own people so that they have capacity.

“Next time he would have learnt from this project.

“When he does the next project, he will take corrective measures and then move on.

“The idea behind is at the end of the day we look back and say we have empowered contractors that can even compete regionally. We monitor each and every stage,” he said.

The Minister said Government is ready to work with local companies but is not prepared to shortchange tax payers.

“We want to thank him for the endeavours in our contract but we are not saying we then stand and applaud a job that has not been done properly because it’s not our money, it’s for the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development Knowledge Kaitano (Mudzi West) said Government had done well to revive infrastructure projects after a long lull.

“We are here to witness the resurgence of infrastructural works in this country. For a long time, there was some kind of some pause in infrastructural development in Zimbabwe but we have seen quite a lot and especially through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. It shows something good about the Second Republic led by His Excellency the President of this country, Dr ED Mnangagwa,” he said.

Added MP Kaitano: “I’ve always said to myself where was this vision, where was this mantra that says ‘Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo’ all these years, where was it? But I’m also comforted by the fact that all things work together for the good and everything happens in its own time.”

This is a time to develop our country and it requires everybody else’s support so we really support the great works that are happening in this country.”

He said the number of people employed indirectly by Government through road construction is testimony that the country is working towards implementing NDS1.

“The benefit is not just the financial aspect.

“The benefit is also the technical aspect. Some (workers) that come are not skilled at all and they become semi-skilled. Some are more skilled in terms of road construction and those are benefits to this country.

“So we really appreciate the kind of work the Government is doing,” he said.

The MP said Government deserves support for the works it was doing to revamp the country’s infrastructure.

“We see Government through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development injecting a lot of capital into the development of our economy. And that has accelerated development. I believe the Second Republic requires the continued support of everybody. As Zimbabweans, we need to continue standing together with the Second Republic, with our Ministers, with the President of this country building our own country. As Parliament, we do these things to support our country.”

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