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$600 million for Matabeleland North RDCs road works – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has this year increased the allocation of road funds with rural district councils in Matabeleland North set to get about $600 million for road works in seven districts in the province.

Last year, Zinara allocated a total of $264,5 million to the seven rural district councils. This year, the money was increased to $598,7 million for road rehabilitation and maintenance works under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).

In total, Zinara will disburse $93 billion to road authorities in the first quarter of the year as the Second Republic continues to walk the talk in terms of infrastructural development in line with Vision 2030.

RDC ROADS Tshongogwe Hospital road access works

Kusile Rural District Council, which was allocated $42 978 846 last year, will this year get $105 561 376,40.

The council’s chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Hadebe said the money will be channelled towards outstanding projects such as the Ndimimbili-Lusulu Road bush clearing, culverts construction, and grading of a 22km stretch.

“We will also work on the Ngombane-Zinapi Road culverts construction and repairs, spot gravelling and grading of the 5km stretch. There will be works on the Mzola 27-Thokozani Road where we will regravel it, do culvert construction as well as grading. This is over and above the periodic maintenance of our roads,” he said.

A culvert is a tunnel carrying a stream under a road or railway, which may act as a bridge for traffic to pass on it. 

Bubi Rural District Council chief executive officer, Dr Patson Mlilo said from the allocated $105 million, they will rehabilitate nearly 200km of their road network. 

Last year, Bubi RDC got $33,7 million from Zinara. Dr Mlilo said they are going to rehabilitate four roads; Enaleni, Waterfalls, Fries as well as Majiji Kokolombeni.

“We will also do bush clearing, spot gravelling formation and fix drains. In terms of maintenance, roads such as Mbembesi, Litshe, Mary Ellen and Old Hunter will be our top priority,” he said.

Binga RDC’s allocation leaped from $46,7 million in 2022 to $140,1 million. 

The local authority’s engineer Zibusiso Nyoni said some of the road works that they intend to embark on include the gravelling of Nsungwale Road.

RDC roads Tshongogwe -Zinapi road culverts works

“We will construct culverts and do 4km spot gravelling along Nsungwale Road. We also intend to do a kilometre of drain lining at Siambembe medium density suburb as well as construction of vented ford at Manyanda-Malaliya Road,” he said 

Hwange RDC chief executive officer, Mr Phindile Ncube said this year, they were allocated $129,3 million for road rehabilitation and maintenance.

The Government continues to make significant progress under the second phase ERRP as part of intensified efforts to improve the country’s road network. 

Other key infrastructure projects receiving close Government attention include construction of dams, schools, hospitals, clinics and other key public infrastructure that includes courts of law and administration structures.

Under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), the Government committed to infrastructure development, supported by the private sector.

RDC roads Tshongogwe -Zinapi road culverts works

The NDS1 is the Government’s five-year economic management master plan through to the year 2025, which has a strong focus on building, expanding and restoring infrastructure. 

Through the strategy, the Government is targeting to increase the road network that meets the Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) standards from five percent to 10 percent and to increase the number of kilometres of road network in good condition from 14 702km to 24500km by 2025. 

According to NDS1, for the national rail system, the target under the five-year development plan is to increase the proportion of track meeting set standards (Track Quality Index) from 57 percent in 2020 to 68 percent by 2025.

Presenting their brief 2022 road rehabilitation and maintenance report this week, Zinara said as part of the due diligence process, road authorities are required to review all their contracts with some authorities yet to finish the process by the end of 2022.

Zinara also took a swipe at some local authorities over poor quality workmanship on some road rehabilitation projects across the country and red flagged overcommitting or signing of contracts that are way above resources allocated.

“Going forward, Zinara urged the road authorities to budget within their allocations and ensure timely acquittals of disbursed funds. This is prudently important in terms of value preservation of their allocated funds,” reads part of the report. – @skhumoyo2000.

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Zimbabwean Embassy To Launch A Plan For The Return Of ZEP … – The Zimbabwe Mail

The Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa is expected to launch a strategic plan for the return of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders.

South Africa cancelled the ZEP facility last year stating that holders will not be allowed to reside, work or learn in that country beyond 30 June 2023 if they cannot find alternative legal permission to live there.

About 180 000 Zimbabweans face deportation.

Several lobby groups met last week at the University of Cape Town to discuss the upcoming court bid to oppose the government’s decision to scrap the ZEP.

A lawyer representing permit holders, Advocate Simba Chitando, told SABC News that the Zimbabwean government is not responsible for the decision to terminate the ZEP. He added:

In my view, all the Zim government can do is make provisions to accept the Zim nationals who may want to return to Zimbabwe. It looks like the Zim government is saying that for those who wish to return, I got the sense that it is a voluntary exercise, and they are doing what any government would do when there is a crisis in a foreign country, to make provisions for the return of its own people.

South Africa’s cancellation of special permits for foreign nationals is part of a broad exercise of reviewing its immigration policies to manage an influx of economic migrants.

It is viewed as the government’s response to intensified calls and efforts by South African nationals who have over the years been calling for the ejection of foreign nationals whom they argue were taking their jobs and business opportunities.

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Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood has charges … – New

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Manchester Evening News

Mason Greenwood has had criminal proceedings against him discontinued.

Charges against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood have been dropped.

Greater Manchester Police have announced today that criminal proceedings against the 21-year-old have today been discontinued. The 21-year-old striker had been charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and assault, allegations relating to the same woman.

But in a statement today, Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection, said: “Given the significant media coverage of this case, it is only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this.

“The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.

“Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.

“I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them. An ever increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilising tools, available via the criminal justice system, to keep people safe and care for victims.

“If you feel you are or might be a victim, please don’t let this case put you off asking for help.”

A CPS spokesperson said: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review. In this case a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case.

“We have explained our decision to all parties. We would always encourage any potential victims to come forward and report to police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”

Greenwood, who joined United aged six, has been suspended by the club during the court process. He has not played professional football for a year. The last game he played for United was the Premier League fixture against West Ham on January 22 last year.

About a week later, on January 30, Greenwood was arrested after a woman made a series of posts on Twitter. He was arrested and has been suspended by United ever since.

The following day, his sponsor Nike announced it had suspended its relationship with the footballer, later confirming the partnership had ended. Prosecutors charged Greenwood with the three offences about eight months later, in October.

He appeared before magistrates on October 17 and then before a judge at Minshull Street a month later, on November 21.

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law an courts

Vast Resources expects historic diamond parcel release in coming days –

(Alliance News) – Vast Resources PLC on Thursday said the High Court of Zimbabwe has granted a default order against the Minister of Mines & Mining Development, in relation to the release of a historic parcel of diamonds.

The London-based mining company with projects in Romania and Zimbabwe said the High Court order for the release of the parcel of 129,400 carats of rough diamonds is expected to be signed in the coming days.

The company said the High Court should allow for a “lawful and transparent” process to begin for the release of the historic parcel to the company.

Vast Resources said the stones would be independently cleaned and valued, before being sold via a tender process. The company noted that once these processes have been finalised, it will refocus on other opportunities in Zimbabwe.

The diamonds have been held in the custody of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe since 2010, pending the determination of an appeal against the High Court’s decision in 2009. Vast resources began formal legal action in the High Court of Zimbabwe in December 2022.

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Prelea said: “Despite taking longer than anticipated, I am very pleased to announce that after many years of hard work and discussion with the Zimbabwean Government the matter regarding the release of the historic parcel has now been amicably settled in a manner supported by an Order of the High Court of Zimbabwe.

“This demonstrates the Zimbabwe Government’s and in particular His Excellency President Cmd. E D Mnangagwa’s commitment to resolving legacy issues related to investment in Zimbabwe in a transparent and legal manner for the mutual benefit of investors and the Country.”

Vast Resources shares were down 14% trading at 0.68 pence per share on Thursday afternoon in London.

By Harvey Dorset, Alliance News reporter

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