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Minister blasts poor workmanship on roads

by Staff reporter
18 Feb 2019 at 06:54hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT will not tolerate poor workmanship on road projects and going forward strict adherence to maintenance of quality standards on infrastructural development will be done to save the country millions of dollars, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Zimbabwe has embarked on rehabilitation of its road infrastructure to promote economic development in line with President Mnangagwa's vision to make the country an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Addressing representatives from road authorities in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) and Government officials in Bulawayo on Friday before touring Bulawayo-Nkayi Road and Ingwingwizi Bridge in Bubi District, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Engineer Joe Biggie Matiza said: "Quality management is the issue that we need to do. There is no point of rushing a project and then just after two weeks of it being completed, the infrastructure collapses or starts becoming an eyesore or white elephant.

"There are some roads (across the country) that I have seen and I am going to tell the PD (principal director) to come down himself and check because I am not satisfied that those roads can pass any rainy season."

Minister Matiza said implementing infrastructure projects that do not last was costly to the country.

"It's not about just to see things happening, it's about having projects done properly, which means we need to get ready to employ experts, people who are qualified to be able to do the administration and be able to supervise.

"I visited one country when I was invited there for an infrastructural development programme. It (infrastructural development) was done by some of these foreign countries and it looked nice when you are from the horizon and the drive the first day of handover, the Head of State there was proud," said Eng Matiza.

He, however, said after six months, the infrastructure was in a terrible state.

"It was as if there was a mini earthquake with spontaneous cracks happening despite people having been paid to undertake the project," said Minister Matiza.

He said calling back such contactors to redo the work involved legal processes which become very expensive to the Government hence the need to ensure those contracted to implement Government projects do a perfect job.

In the execution of infrastructural development, he said, it was critical to give locals a chance to participate in such projects. Government has already said it will give priority to local companies that have capacity to implement mega-infrastructural development projects as a strategy to save foreign currency.

"The administration has to be done meticulously because these are contractual issues; the paper work has got to line up with the contract and duties that are executed have to be done according to the contract.

"But most of the times it's almost a camaraderie issue but when a contract goes wrong that friendship doesn't exist anymore," said Eng Matiza.

He said the Government would make sure that at district level everyone involved in infrastructure development programme has the technical knowledge while supervision of the project is done regularly.

Government has stepped up major road rehabilitation programmes across the country with Treasury last year releasing $252 million for projects covering urban and rural roads. Part of the funding was also channelled towards dualising major roads such as the Beitbridge-Masvingo Highway among others.

Source - chronicle