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Govt suspends new road projects

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA Government says it will continue with major road projects across the country, but suspend new projects due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has paralysed a number of developmental projects. Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza told NewsDay yesterday that all new projects had been put on hold. “Road construction is progressing well and by this I mean those projects that were at an advanced stage before the outbreak of COVID-19. We also have what we call priority roads and these are currently being worked on. Treasury has already agreed to release funds for these projects and we are happy with the progress. However, we have put on hold all new road construction projects due to this pandemic,” he said. The Transport ministry launched road construction projects in every district in the country in line with the government’s vision 2030. Some of the roads have since been completed. The Zimbabwe National Road Administration has also been releasing money to local authorities for road construction and maintenance. According to Matiza, the prioritised road projects include the Chirundu-Beitbridge Highway. “We have completed some roadworks along the Beitbridge-Harare Highway and that is an advantage. Some contractors are currently working on some projects though at a low scale due to the pandemic,” he added. Government is upgrading a 781km road network, re-gravelling 483km and constructing 22 bridges under the transitional stabilisation programme.

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