Contractors have come under fire over shoddy jobs in rehabilitating roads mainly in the capital, Harare, amid  fears those contracted to do the work do not have the capacity to deliver.

Several roads in Harare have been rehabilitated as the country prepares for the August SADC Summit that Zimbabwe is set to host.

Dozens of Heads of State are expected to attend the Summit to be hosted at the new Parliament in Mt Hampden.

While there are higher expectations on roads and infrastructure development from stakeholders, concern has been raised on the state of roads that were recently rehabilitated with Nyanga South Member of Parliament Supa Mandiwanzira asking Transport and Infrastructural Development Felix Mhona on what government is doing to ensure contractors deliver on quality.

“I want to associate myself with the comments by the Hon. MP in thanking His Excellency, particularly through the  Minister (Mhona)for the great work that is happening on our roads,” Mandiwanzira said.

“My question relates to the standard and quality of the roads that are being made. Because of the great work that is being done to fix and make the roads to this Parliament Building, we are now having to use some roads that we did not use often. We know that some of these roads were recently upgraded on Government space,” he added.

“For instance, this afternoon, I drove through Lorraine Drive, but the state of that road does not indicate that this road was recently upgraded. My question to the Minister is, to what extent is the Ministry supervising the standard and the quality of the roads that are being built?”

He added : “Are there funds being retained on the amounts that are due to the contractors that within a specific period, if the road does not stand or withstand the demands of time, those resources are used to fix those roads?”

Mhona said government was equally worried with the state of somw rehabilitated roads adding contractors who have delivered shoddy jobs have since been summoned and warned.

“Just like in a normal scenario where at times we need to take ownership, in this particular case, the Hon. Member has raised and indicated a particular road which is Lorraine Drive.  For the past weeks, it was topical during our debates and social media circulations where the road failed dismally. As Ministry, we have summoned the contractor, who has also acknowledged that yes, the road failed. For us, we are saying under the Second Republic, we do not pay when the work is not done properly,” Mhona said.

“We have instructed the contractor to work on the road and take corrective measures where the system failed and the type of bituminous products used collapsed.”

“He has learnt from that experience and it is not the only road that contractor has been working on. If we see, he has been attending to a number of roads across the country. The terrain and the nature of the soils and how the road collapsed is something that we interrogated. We have agreed that the contractor will take remedial action.”

Source BusinessTimes