Latest on US$88 million Mbudzi Interchange project


LEGISLATORS yesterday toured the US$88 million Mbudzi Interchange project in Harare which is now 61 percent complete.

The 31 legislators from the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development appreciated the works being done by the contractors at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze Road, Chitungwiza Road and High Glen Road in the capital.

Short-term funding for the project was arranged through local financial institutions, while Tensor Systems, Fossil Contracting, and Masimba Construction formed the construction consortium under the banner of Tefoma Construction joint venture to build the interchange.

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The Government has so far injected US$45 million towards the project which is set for completion by the end of July.

The same portfolio committee toured other projects and operations being done by Zinara around the city.

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From the interchange, the legislators left for Masvingo where they will tomorrow tour Mushagashe tollgate before proceeding to Bulawayo where they will tour Esigodini and Ntabazinduna tollgates.

The committee will also engage the Bulawayo City Council as well as meeting Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona.

Committee chairperson Cde Knowledge Kaitano said the purpose of the visit was to familiarise themselves with what was happening at the Mbudzi Interchange.

“Today it was just to fly past, we are on a trip with Zinara just to have a look at the tollgates that Zinara is working on. For today it was just to pass through here, to familiarise ourselves with what is happening here at the Mbudzi Interchange and we have seen great work that is being done here.

“The contractor is on-site, the yellow machines are buzzing all over the place and as we have been briefed, 61 percent of the work has been done. So we are hopefully looking forward to great road works being done at this Mbudzi Interchange,” he said.

On the compensation of home owners whose properties had to be sold to the Government so there was room for the interchange, Cde Kaitano said it was very critical as it was going to unlock a lot of progress.

So far 42 of the 52 property owners have been paid out.

“Things have not been moving according to plan because the property owners need to be compensated. So as soon as that is settled that will really help us to move forward with the interchange. But otherwise, the work that is being done here is brilliant work and we have spoken to the engineers. They have shown a lot of commitment that this project will be finished according to the timelines.

“However, the issue of compensation needs to be dealt with and dealt with as of yesterday for us to be able to finish the work here within the prescribed timelines,” Cde Kaitano said.

Resident Engineer, Emmanuel Dube, said work was progressing very well.

“As I mentioned when I was doing my brief, we are at 61 percent in terms of overall progress. On bridges we are 87 percent and just over 40 percent with earthworks.

“As you might appreciate, the bridges need to be completed first before the earthworks can come on. That’s why on the earthworks, the percentage difference is quite big and we are about 40 percent behind. There are certain bridges that need to be completed for the earthworks to pick up pace,” Eng Dube said.

So far, he said, they had completed seven bridges and they were busy finalising the eighth bridge out of the 15 bridges that are at the interchange.

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