'Govt will not recruit workers for Beitbridge-Harare road'

HARARE - Government has said it would not be involved in the recruitment of workers for the improvement of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway because that was sorely the responsibility of the contractor.

Unemployed youths are clamouring to be considered for jobs which would be created when construction works begin.

The trunk road, which is to be developed into a dual carriageway at a cost of $2,8 billion, is set to create numerous jobs in construction and supporting works.

There have been reports that government would recruit workers through the ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, with thousands already reportedly flocking to the ministry’s offices in various parts of the country to register for consideration.

Other reports also suggested that Zanu PF youths are being lined up for the jobs, with recruitment being done through local party structures.

However, in an interview with the Daily News, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister, Joram Gumbo, dismissed the reports saying government had handed everything over to Austrian construction firm, Geiger International which is currently laying preparatory works in partnership with China Harbour Engineering Company (Chec).

Geiger International is the financier to the project, which is also responsible for hiring labour while Chec will do the construction work.

“The ministry will not play any role in the hiring of workers. Our job is over. We have done our part and it now lies in the hands of Geiger International, they will handle everything,” said Gumbo.

Gumbo also appeared to disparage recent demands by Zanu PF secretary for youth affairs, Kudzanai Chipanga that party youths should be given exclusive employment rights on the road construction as an appreciation for their loyalty to the party.

Chipanga made the demands at a youth rally addressed by the ruling party’s leader, President Robert Mugabe in Chinhoyi last month.

“There is nothing like that,” Gumbo exclaimed.

“The party will not be involved in any way. We will not interfere with the contractor’s works.

“Only Geiger International will be hiring workers. They know the skills they require and the kind of personnel they need.

“Remember there will be quality checks at the end of it all and we do not want a situation whereby they would end up claiming that they could not give us the best product because we imposed staff on them.

“So, the truth is that we will never interfere with their works, either as government or as Zanu PF,” he said.

Gumbo maintained claims that the road dualisation would create up to 300 000 jobs after he was criticised for throwing fictitious figures only to match government’s rhetoric of having created two million jobs in the last four years in line with Zanu PF’s 2013 election manifesto.

“I don’t know where people get it wrong. I still maintain that as much as 300 000 jobs will be created by this job, either as construction labourers or in downstream support works.

“There will also be individuals whose enterprises will benefit from the construction works.

“This is a massive project which will surely transform the lives of many throughout its six segments,” he said.

Mugabe finally officially commissioned the upgrading of Zimbabwe’s main trunk road in May this year after many years of delay which saw its costs multiplying.

The road, which has now been reduced by the elements into a narrow, deadly strip riddled with potholes and sharp edges that claim hundreds of lives every year, is part of the North-South Corridor that directly links landlocked Zimbabwe and Zambia with access to the Indian Ocean ports of Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa, making it the country’s most important commercial connection.

Comments (2)

A welcome development which was long overdue

Den - 21 August 2017

900 km = 300,000 jobs 3 m = 1 jobs We are on track; lets go for more roads Comrade Gumbo. We can even go for labout based construction and finish the road in two weeks only

Garikai Chivasa - 21 August 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.