The government says over half a billion dollars is awaiting disbursement to various road authorities while other road rehabilitation projects will be funded under the private public partnership (PPPs) agreements as tar surfacing and road rehabilitation is being scaled up across the country.

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Cde Joel Biggie Matiza toured the Ngundu-Tanganda road on Thursday after meeting road authorities in Mutare as the Second Republic is on a drive to up-scale road rehabilitation programmes in Manicaland and other provinces.

Minister Matiza says there is over half a billion dollars  awaiting disbursement to fund a number of road rehabilitation and tar surfacing projects, adding that road authorities should quickly make submissions on requirements while those who received allocations before have been urged to make urgent acquittals to fast-track the disbursement process.

“There is over half a billion dollars awaiting disbursement towards road rehabilitation with PPPs expected to increase the funding capacity. The Ngundu-Tanganda road tar surfacing is testimony that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is keen to fulfil his election campaign promises,” said Cde Matiza.

The Minister of State for Manicaland Senator Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba and Zanu PF Manicaland chairperson who is also the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Cde Mike Madiro expressed happiness on the  strides to rehabilitate and surface roads that include the Tanganda–Checheche road as one of the positive developments in the province.

“We are optimistic that more investments will be lured as road infrastructure is critical in fostering economic development in any province or country.  It shows President Mnangagwa’s seriousness in turning around the economy,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.

Bitumen World Operations Manager Chris Seager says his company hopes to complete tar surfacing of the remaining 54-kilometre Tanganda-Checheche stretch within four months after having completed 30 kilometers during the first phase.

Meanwhile, Minister Matiza says Grandreef near Mutare will be upgraded into a major airport while a deal to recapitalise the National Railways of Zimbabwe is about to be concluded.