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'Criminals damaging roads'

by Staff reporter
03 Dec 2021 at 05:31hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has accused "rogue elements" of damaging newly-refurbished roads to discredit the ongoing Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2).

This follows complaints that road construction companies were doing sub-standard work resulting in the roads being damaged a few weeks after rehabilitation.

Government declared the country's roads a state of state of disaster in February, before unveiling the ERRP2 programme.

A survey by NewsDay revealed that several newly-refurbished roads in some parts of Harare have already developed cracks and potholes, a few months after they were rehabilitated.

Part of the newly-refurbished Seke Road is now pothole-ridden, and motorists have to be cautious to avoid damage to their vehicles.

Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said police were investigating the matter.

"It has also come to the attention of Cabinet that some criminal elements are clandestinely damaging road works carried out under the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme 2, apparently to discredit government efforts," she said.

"Law enforcement agents have, therefore, intensified efforts to arrest the culprits and bring them to book. The ERRP2 continues to register tangible milestones, as evidenced by the observable road rehabilitation activity on the ground. Highlights of the remarkable progress made to date include several major projects which have been completed and opened to traffic."

Government is rehabilitating several roads across the country under the ERRP2.

But there are concerns that tenders for the road rehabilitation programmes were corruptly awarded, resulting in substandard roadworks.

In September, a Harare City Council manager was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission after he allegedly produced a false report claiming that Fossil Construction Company had completed 15% road rehabilitation work in the capital.

It is alleged that Asiyo Mkombeze, who is the council's projects superintendent, produced the false report to fraudulently facilitate the extension of the company's contract, which was expiring on December 31, 2019.

Investigations revealed that Fossil Construction Company had not yet started the project.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe