By Derick Tsimba
Government continues to step up its efforts towards turning around the country’s economy spending more than $2.5 billion to complete the various projects aimed at national development such as the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Beitbridge-Masvingo highway, the New Parliament building and enhancing the tourism sector.
The Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North Province whose construction started in 2013 is being prioritised by Government as the project is progressing well with the footing now complete as well as the plunge pool. The Second Republic has made consented efforts to ensure the Bulawayo water shortages are solved once and for all by speeding up construction of the dam. This project has created employment opportunities and should result in the creation of an irrigation greenbelt in Bulawayo.
Recently, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube in his 2020 National budget allocated a further $400 million to Gwayi-Shangani so that development of sustainable water sources in the context of climate change improves. When completed the Dam is going to be the third largest inland Dam in Zimbabwe after Tugwi-Mukosi and Mutirikwi.
A number of projects have been prioritised in the 2020 budget: Gwayi Shangani dam ZWL$400 million, Causeway dam, ZWL$128 million, Chivhu dam ZWL$192 million, Kunzvi dam ZWL$259 million, Semwa dam ZWL$216 million, other dams ZWL$205 million, water supply schemes ZWL$113 million and local authorities’ water and supply sanitation ZWL$311 million.
Government continues to upgrade the country’s road network to enable economic development towards the attainment of the upper middle income economy status by 2030.
Work on Beitbridge-Masvingo highway has started to advance following the Second Republic efforts, which intends to increase contractors from five to nine.
The four additional contractors are expected to speed up the Beitbridge-Masvingo road dualisation and rehabilitation. Government had previously contracted five companies namely Bitumen World, Masimba Construction, Fossil Contractors, Tensor Systems and Exodus Company currently rehabilitating the highway which had become the country’s most dangerous road causing numerous road carnages. Modernisation of the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway promotes regional trade and the movement of millions of people within Southern and Central Africa.
By contracting four more companies to add to the five on the ground work should witness the highway being completed by 2023. This year alone by April close to 180 kilometres of the highway should be completed.
Harare roads will soon be having a new face after the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development’s plans to construct a traffic interchange at Mbudzi roundabout to ease congestion.
Meanwhile, the construction of the New Parliament building nears completion as of late last year when President Emmerson Mnangagwa toured the state of art Parliament in Mount Hampden. He acknowledged progress being made by Chinese contractors and that it was going to strengthen bilateral relations between Harare and Beijing.
Last year the country raked in US$1.3 billion in tourism receipts, showing the growth potential in the sector. Government has moved in to increase this growth trend through putting in place robust strategies aimed at boosting investments in conference facilities, hotel accommodation and tourism products. Government remains on course in achieving its targets by 2030 as this can be observed by its commitment to economic revival.