Contracting local firms saves billions: President

Zimbabwe has saved billions of dollars in hard currency by engaging local companies to carry out infrastructural development projects such as dam and roads construction, President Mnangangwa has said.

Speaking at the commissioning of Marovanyati Dam here yesterday, the President said the Government saved US$1,3 billion on the ongoing construction of the Harare-Beitbridge Road, which is being done by local companies.

“This Government walks the talk on development unlike in the past. You can see the development here, there is no province that does not have a dam that is being constructed.

“We are constructing roads, in the past we used to think that we couldn’t do it on our own. We used to seek foreigners, but not anymore.

“Initially, we engaged some foreign companies to construct the Harare-Beitbridge Road and we had to pay US$1,9 billion. However, after some delays we kicked out those companies and hired locally. The road is going to cost US$600 million and we are saving US$1,3 billion. We will keep on pursuing these infrastructural development programmes on our own. Let’s work together, this is our country, we are united with our land and our land with us.

“Going forward, we should be able to say this year we did this and then go to the next year, we are building bridges, roads. We now know that we can do it by ourselves,” he said.

The massive dam, with a full supply capacity of 50 million cubic metres and a surface area of 546 hectares, is set to transform lives in Buhera, a district that has low annual rainfall and was thus susceptible to weather vagaries.

Apart from climate proofing agriculture, the dam is set to supply water to the sprawling Murambinda Growth Point.

“This dam was not envisaged by us but it was a project that has been in the pipeline for so many years. When we came, we moved from talking into implementing this project. This has taken two years, this dream is now a reality. This dam was built by our local engineers. I have been promised that going forward they will be building on their own. Of course I would like to thank our friends the Chinese, they have built so many projects for us and we have learned workmanship from the Chinese.”

The dam that is seven kilometres from Murambinda Dam was funded by Government with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) as the engineers while China Jiagxi Corporation was the contractor.

“We have brought devolution through which we give regions budgets where they can pursue their own goals, but for such projects central Government steps in. In the past we used to borrow to build such infrastructure but with this project there is no loan from anyone that we will have to                                                                     pay back.

“We have built this with our own resources even though we are under sanctions,” the President said.

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