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Mugabe laments Harare-Beitbridge road carnage

18/05/2017 00:00:00
by Midlands Correspondent
 
President Robert Mugabe
 
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PRESDIENT Robert Mugabe on Thursday expressed sorrow at the loss of lives along the Harare-Beitbridge road, blaming the carnage on the narrow highway.

Last month, an accident at Nyamatikiti River near Chaka claimed 30 lives with most of the victims burnt beyond recognition after a South Africa-bound Proliner bus sideswiped with a haulage truck and caught fire.

Speaking at Chaka Business Centre while commissioning a billion-dollar project to widen the road, Mugabe said it was a relief that government finally managed to engage an international contractor to undertake the work.

"It is sad that many horrific accidents, some fatal, have for a long time been witnessed on this road," Mugabe said.

"This was mainly due to increased pressure on this narrow road. The latest such accident, which regrettably took 30 lives, recently occurred just a few kilometres from here (ground breaking venue).”

The veteran leader however blamed sanctions imposed by the West for the collapse of infrastructure in the country saying government was failing to access lines of credit to finance its projects.

Mugabe said the Harare-Beitbridge road would be undertaken through a Private Public Partnership arrangement with Austrian Geiger International company at cost of $984 million.

40 percent of the work will be reserved for local companies with the construction expected to create employment for the local communities.

Mugabe however, said community leaders needed to spearhead campaigns against vandalism of infrastructure, which he said was rampant in the country.

He also said infrastructure development was expensive and challenged those awarded the tenders to ensure high standards of work.

"Clearly infrastructure development is expensive, hence the whenever we undertake such projects, we must demand that the product be of high quality and must be durable and give good value for money.

"Sub-standard work should never be tolerated."

Over the years, the country has witnessed the loss of many lives through road accidents attributed to dilapidated roads, which have not been maintained for many decades.



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