|Govt sets priority projects|
|Saturday, 04 August 2012 19:51|
Sunday News Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has prioritised the completion of the construction of social-related buildings in a move to spread the little financial resources at its disposal, amid revelations it needs over US$50 million to complete 120 buildings.
This comes at a time when government is reportedly losing millions of dollars as building material at some construction sites has been lying idle for years while some has been left to rot and expire.
In an interview with Sunday News last Wednesday, Public Works Minister Gabuza Joel Gabuza said they had since resolved to prioritise the completion of buildings that had a larger social bearing.
“What is important to note is that we don’t have the financial resources at our disposal so we are challenged to set priorities and our definite first choice will be the health sector, government offices and universities.
“We are thus looking at hospitals around the country and we have also prioritized the Lupane State University (LSU), our major challenge is that we spread what we have in terms of financial resources to cover a wider scope,” said Minister Gabuza.
He said his ministry was, however, working to counter all these challenges, with significant progress being made in some projects.
“We have construction projects that are almost complete these including the Lupane Registry, LSU and we have also started new projects in Binga and Lupane, we hope with the availability of funds these projects will be completed by the end of the year,” he said.
The minister further revealed that they had a problem of equipment that was lying idle around the country after some of the projects had gone for years unattended.
“We have a lot of cases where equipment is lying idle, some has been stolen while some have just been rendered useless, this is largely due to the fact that during the times of economic meltdown we had a lot of contractors abandoning the worksites thus literary abandoning the equipment there, which the government had already paid for.
“When we eventually adopted the multi-currency regime most of these contractors had simple folded thus we now had to re-tender the project which in itself was an expense as the new contractor had to come up with their own bill of quantities meaning we had now lost millions of dollars in the equipment that had previously been purchased for the previous contractor,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, the minister said he was in talks with the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti to ensure that money meant for structural works within various ministries be deposited directly to the Ministry of Public Works or the Infrastructure Development of Zimbabwe so as to allow the easy completion of projects.
“We have a problem where line ministries use money meant for infrastructure development for other pressing matters this therefore leading to a serious case of backlog in terms of government buildings.
“If Minister Biti could directly deposit this amount to us or the IDBZ it becomes easier for us to complete all those hanging projects,” said the minister.