Felex Share Senior Reporter
Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday commissioned a $22 million road project in Wedza District, as Government accelerates implementation of its economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.
The project has seen more than 80 percent of the 40 kilometre road linking Wedza and Sadza Growth Point being surfaced and the construction of Save River bridge.
The development of infrastructure and utilities is a critical pillar of Zim-Asset and the new road network, which was already open to traffic, is expected to catalyse economic activities between the two districts.
Addressing hundreds of people who gathered to witness the commissioning, Acting President Mphoko described the project as a milestone and part of Government’s target of constructing and rehabilitating 1 100km of the country’s main roads over the next three years.
“Improved accessibility to essential social services by the rural population is one of Zim-Asset’s goals of improving living standards of the citizenry, under the social services and poverty eradication cluster,” he said.
“The work being done by the infrastructure cluster is beginning to bear fruit and I urge all other clusters to remain focused in pursuit of their set targets. Available information indicates that the development of the road network and the bridge has helped in the growth of Sadza Growth Point which now boasts availability of a number of banks, a Grain Marketing Board depot, a district hospital and small home industries which produce essential items such as doors and window frames, among other things.”
Acting President Mphoko said the remaining seven kilometres, which require about $3,5 million, would be completed despite Government facing “transient” cash flow challenges.
“I will, therefore, consult relevant ministries with the view to having the project included in the 2016 budget,” he said. He urged the community to desist from vandalism, saying it was regrettable that some of the accidents occurred because critical road signs had been vandalised.
He appealed to the people to rally behind Zanu-PF in the May 15 by-election in Wedza North to replace Cde Simon Musanhu who died in January.
The revolutionary party will be represented by Cde David Musabayana in the by-election.
“We have shown that we are a people oriented party and we appeal to you to retain the seat in Zanu-PF,” he said.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said while the road and bridge construction began in 1998 and 1999 respectively, lack of funds had hampered progress.
“Due to financial challenges, there was a delay in initiating work on the Save bridge approaches,” he said. “The work was finally completed on the 11th March, 2015.”
Dr Mpofu said the motoring public should be part of the road infrastructure development. “There is no way we can develop our road infrastructure if we do not become part of that development,” he said. “You hear people saying Government should develop without charging levies, but it is all our combined efforts that bring desired results. I want to appeal to the motoring public to be part of this development.”