Govt Speaks On Confusion Over US$42M, US$85M, US$88M Mbudzi Interchange Cost
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development has dismissed allegations by Hopewell Chi’ono, a freelance journalist that the government intends to use the construction of Mbudzi interchange to loot public funds.
The government plans to construct an interchange at the Mbudzi roundabout to address traffic congestion in the area. Chin’ono said:
I have just spoken to the South African engineers who designed the Mbudzi roundabout. They told me that its real cost is US$42 million max, not the US$85 million being paid to Tagwirei. Below is the real plan which they sent to me. They said US$85 million was grand THEFT!
In response, the Transport ministry said everything was done transparently according to Zimbabwean laws. Reads a statement issued this Wednesday:
The Mbudzi Interchange design Engineers were procured in accordance with the Procurement Act. The winning design consultancy firm has both South African and Zimbabwean registered engineers as per the laws governing engineering practice.
As standard practice, on completion of design, the Engineers provided the estimate of construction cost USD65 million for the Interchange only and the Engineers stand by that figure.
The total cost of the Interchange includes diversion roads from Stoneridge, Hopley, Forbes and Malvern in Waterfalls back to Beatrice road which are currently under construction. These diversion roads are a total of 8km.
This includes the missing link of Harare Drive from Masotsha Ndhlovu into Houghton Park traffic circle and the bridge across Mukuvisi which brings the total cost of the Interchange to USD88 million exclusive VAT charges.