George Maponga, Masvingo Bureau
Part of the Mhandamabwe-Shurugwi Highway will be upgraded after Government agreed with the contractor to continue works for a further 20 kilometres.
The road is in a bad state and a spate of accidents have been recorded.
Government awarded Bitumen Construction the tender to upgrade the road starting from Chibi Turn-Off to Mhandamabwe.
The stretch from Mhandamabwe to Shurugwi will now also benefit under the new arrangement.
Work is around 50 percent complete and the agreement between the contractor and Government to expand the scope of road works towards Shurugwi will bring relief to communities in Masunda and Madamombe in Chivi North.
Bitumen Construction is set to resume work on the highway on February 1 after breaking for the festive season.
Chivi Rural District Council chair councillor Godfrey Mukungunugwa said last week that upgrading of the highway was going to extend beyond Mhandamabwe to Mufiri communal lands.
“Work on the highway will resume on February 1 and we are happy that the upgrade project will no longer end at Mhandamabwe, but has been expanded by a further 20km along the Shurugwi road,” he said.
Cllr Mukungunugwa said villagers in Madamombe and Masunda were now battling to access transport to either Masvingo or Gweru, as motorists were now shunning the road owing to its poor condition.
The project was initially billed to cost $26 million before inflationary pressures forced the cost to spike, resulting in Government pouring in a further $35 million towards the end of last year.
Additional funds have already been budgeted for the road project in the 2020 National Budget as Government pulls all the stops to make sure the project is completed.