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Mnangagwa's govt fails to pay road contractors

by Staff reporter
01 Jan 2024 at 10:27hrs | Views
SOME construction companies have been forced to abandon road rehabilitation works along the Beitbridge to Harare and Beitbridge to Bulawayo roads over outstanding payments owed by the government.

Southern Eye heard that some of the contractors are owed several billions of dollars in local currency.

Government turned to domestic contractors to carry out infrastructural projects after encountering problems internationally due to a high country risk and bad payment record.

Among flagship projects being undertaken by the government is a complete revamp of the 582-kilometre Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway.

One of the companies contracted to upgrade the Harare-Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway said they were last paid before July.

"Road making is costly and there are daily expenses like fuel. We were last paid way back before elections and we have since stopped. We need fuels, oils, building materials and without money road building won't move," said a senior official of one of the contracted companies.

Critics said infrastructural development projects being undertaken by the State might flop unless the government honoured contractual agreements signed with firms driving the works.

Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry permanent secretary Joy Makumbe said one of his officials would contact Southern Eye when contacted for comment.

"One of my team members will get in touch with you on this," he said.

However, there was no response from the ministry at the time of going to print.

The road from Beitbridge to Harare is one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's major projects since taking over from his predecessor Robert Mugabe.

The country's roads have remained in a bad state despite the government launching the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Project (ERRP) in 2021.

ERRP was launched after Mnangagwa declared the country's roads a national disaster.

Some of the contracted companies have been accused of doing substandard work.

Source - newsday