Council revisits Augur deal

HARARE - Harare City Council has tasked the environment committee to look into council resources that were committed to the  airport highway construction deal after the project was handed to Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara).

This arose during a full council meeting last week when Mabvuku ward 19 councillor, Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi had asked what council was going to do about the land and equipment it had given to Augur Investments — the contractor.

“Is the city council going to get its equipment back, and what will become of the land that was given to Augur?” Kufahakutizwi said.

The question was then referred to the environment committee.

Harare and Augur had made a barter deal in which the latter got 733, nine hectares of land around the city as part payment for construction of the road.

Augur investments claimed that construction of the highway had been halted because of non-compliance by the City of Harare to the terms of the deal.

The Mauritania-registered Estonian company claims it has already injected $20 million into the project for a short stretch of the road.

The costing of the airport highway is $28,1 million for the 34km (dual carriage way and slip roads) and $35,7 million for the flyover bridges with $4,78 million for professional fees and provisional sums to cover items such as street lighting, giving the project a total cost of $68,6 million .

The company claims it costs $1,6m per km.

However, experts said the total charge of the 34km road was too high, compared with other bigger road projects which had cost less.

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