BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Government has tasked CMED to supply fuel and road equipment to local authorities to help speed up road infrastructure projects currently underway.
Speaking to local authorities from Midlands province during a tour of roads under rehabilitation in Mberengwa-Mataga yesterday, Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza said government was aware of the crisis to secure fuel and road equipment by local authorities, hence the need to empower CMED with the central role to supply councils.
“There will be a flood of activities that is going to come, especially now that there are some tenders for major roads which have been awarded. We need to resource ourselves. There are opportunities with Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara). Yes the money is not enough, but it’s not a one-day event, but a continuous event where we will then want to source equipment,” Matiza said.
“We want CMED to be equipped so that it can be the major supplier of equipment to road authorities and also to the Department of Roads; that is work in progress. It is very central just like Zinara. It is also very central to the activities of road rehabilitation and building new roads. Now we will be having fuel being delivered to provinces where roads are being built through CMED. That is the programme we are working on, so that we don’t delay projects.”
Local authorities told government that their road infrastructure projects were being derailed because of fuel shortages and fluctuating prices of equipment.
Matiza vowed to name and shame road authorities failing to exhaust money disbursed by Zinara. Government has allocated over $900 million for investment in the road sector under the 2019 infrastructure investment plan.
“We want to see that money being utilised, because wherever there are potholes and other issues, it’s because of non-acquittals,” he said.
“At the end of the day people are pointing fingers at MPs and councillors and yet we have people who are sitting on those things. That will force me to publish the list of those who have not acquitted. Let’s move fast to try and do work because you are the people on the ground. The money is there to do the work. So there is no MP, you just need to do your acquittals and get them to Zinara,” Matiza said.
Government is upgrading 781km of road networks, re-gravelling 483km and constructing 22 bridges under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).