Chinhoyi roads contractor faces backlash over poor workmanship

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent 

TARCON (Private) Limited, the firm which won the tender to rehabilitate Chinhoyi roads, has come under a barrage of criticism for executing a shoddy job.

The outcry by councilors and residents alike comes in the wake of pot-holes and jagged road shoulders already riddled along recently tarred stretches the contractor has worked on.

During an explosive ordinary full council meeting Thursday, the municipality resolved Tarcon must resurface the weak and “compromised” roads.

At the meeting, Ward 1 councillor, Good Sairos, read the Works and Planning Committee recommendations, among them an unanimous decision compelling Tarcon to correct its flawed workmanship of the initial rehabilitation of roads to ensure surfaces are long-lasting.

“Works and Planning Committee recommended that Tarcon should re-do the following roads; Chinhoyi Primary School-Hunyani Road, Nemakonde-Gunhill Road, and New Catholic School Road,” said Good.

Chinhoyi Residents Association chairman, Clifford Hlupeko, was breathing fire when contacted him for comment Tuesday.

“The contractor must be held accountable for the shoddy job and broad daylight thievery. While Tarcon has been in the business for years, next time we call upon relevant authorities to do due diligence before awarding tenders,” charged Hlupeko.

“The work done by Tarcon is a complete insult to residents and ratepayers as well as a waste of taxpayers’ and government money. Funny excuses aside, Tarcon must urgently redo almost all roads, not just those three as directed by council, before onset of rains.”

Earlier in July, council summoned Tarcon’s chief executive officer, Lawrence Gudo, to a meeting where he struggled to convince city fathers his firm’s capacity to revamp roads.

Engaged in 2021, Tarcon’s contract under the much-touted government’s Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) was set to last 18 months, but work completion has been delayed ostensibly due to payment glitches that hampered progress.

Initially, the company was set to fix 50 roads, but the number was trimmed to six due to the council’s budgetary constraints.

Gudo also lamented the high cost of diesel to fuel machinery occasioned by rising inflation.