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Robert Mugabe Airport upgrade on course

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2020 at 06:50hrs | Views
The US$153 million expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is at an advanced stage, with the construction of one wing of the terminal building almost complete.

The project is among flagship projects being implemented by the new dispensation, which emphasises tangible development in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).

On completion, the airport will become a regional aviation hub handling about six million passengers annually, from the 2,5 million presently. Government contracted a Chinese company, China Jiangsu International, to undertake the three year-project.

China Jiangsu upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport in 2016 into a modern facility that can accommodate wide-bodied aircraft.

The upgrade of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is expected to see more international airlines opening routes into Harare and a corresponding increase in tourist arrivals.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza briefed Cabinet on Tuesday that construction work was progressing in line with the set timelines.

"The overall progress for the construction of concrete structure for the south wing of the terminal building of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport stands at 80 percent completion," said Minister Matiza.

In an interview with The Herald after the post-Cabinet meeting, Minister Matiza said they were on course to meet the construction deadline.

"The construction is covering the runway, terminal building, fire station and VVIP lounge," he said.

"Construction works are at different stages and we are on course to meet our deadline for the project."

Speaking while commissioning the commencement of the upgrading works in 2018, President Mnangagwa thanked the Chinese government for expediting the release of the US$153 million loan facility by China's Exim Bank for the airport expansion. He said Zimbabwe was committed to the development of modern infrastructure to enable the economy to industrialise.

"The commencement of this project soon after the commitment by China in April to avail funding is clear testimony of the nature and potential of rapid development and pragmatic cooperation between our two countries under the all-encompassing, comprehensive, strategic partnership and cooperation status which we promoted in April when I visited China," President Mnangagwa said.

"We are indeed most grateful for the support we continue to receive from China in our quest to leapfrog our economic development."

Under the new dispensation, Government is pioneering a number of projects in line with President Mnangagwa's vision of attaining an upper middle income economy by  2030.

Source - the herald