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Ministry fines tollgate contractors

Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development has started fining contractors who missed the December deadline for completing the construction of 24 tollgates shelters across the country.

Ministry permanent secretary Partison Mbiriri revealed this when he appeared before the Transport and Communication Parliamentary Portfolio Committee this week to give oral evidence on the progress of tollgates construction in the country.

More Wear Industries face a penalty of up to US$36 000 if they fail to complete construction of nine tollgates in Matabeleland and Midlands by the end of this month.

The company, a subsidiary of Gulliver Consolidated Group, won the tender to construct nine tollgates in the southern provinces and should have completed them by the end of December 2010.

Harare-based Tega Steel won the tender to construct 15 structures in the northern provinces by the end of July this year. The combined tenders are worth US$1, 9 million.

“The contract was due to be completed by December 31 2010 and we have since invoked penalty clauses,” Mbiriri told the committee. “The penalty is US$400 a day until they complete the project. The penalty is deducted from the company’s future payments from the ministry.”

Mbiriri hastened to add that More Wear Industries had since completed four of the nine shelters it was contracted to erect.

Tega Steel seems on track to meet its deadline.

“Tega has since completed eight out of the 15 shelters they were contracted to construct. Their contract is due to run until end of July this year and we do not think that they will go beyond that period,” said Mbiriri.

Meanwhile, Mbiriri said the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) would soon introduce an electronic tollgate system aimed at limiting revenue leaks as well as being easier to audit. He said all cars would be fitted with an electronic disc on the dashboard where it can be read by the tollgate system.

Mbiriri said the system was ordered from China and was at the port of Beira in Mozambique en route to Zimbabwe. He, however, said the efficient operations of the system would depend on uninterrupted power supply.

The system would initially be installed at tollgates surrounding Harare and Bulawayo.

A similar system was installed on South Africa’s major highways, but was suspended before it could take off after government conceded that it needed to further consult motorists and freight companies because it was found to be costly for road users.

Mbiriri revealed that Zinara has raked in US$33 million from toll gates since their inception in 2009.

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