'Poor infrastructure derails investment'

Poor road network infrastructure and unavailability of water is chasing away investors who want to invest in Zimbabwe, District Development Fund (DDF) permanent secretary James Jonga has said.

In an interview with the Daily News during a tour of road works in Harare and Bindura, Jonga said the progress on road repairs and maintenance was worryingly slow. Road engineers, however, said it was actually the price hikes and fuel shortages that were slowing down their projects.

“It is not a declaration of excess of capacity for use to address issues of an urban nature; it was more to do with a rescue operation. President Emmerson Mnangagwa came up with the business mantra ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ and the offices where that business is conducted are Mukwati, Munhumutapa, Chaminuka and Kaguvi.

“If our visitors, the ones that we are actually inviting cannot access the buildings because of the chipped roads surely we will not get the millions that we are trying to attract. They will just be discouraged to come to those buildings where they cannot even park their cars and when they climb up the building they cannot find water. This is where DDF has had to come because of the interventionist nature of our operations,” Jonga said.

He added that the DDF as a department in the President’s Office intervenes in such instances and as soon as it becomes necessary.
Jonga, however, emphasised that DDF is not ignoring the communal areas but was trying to ensure that the business mantra being projected is actually softened in terms of its approach.

The DDF secretary said while there were road works being carried their pace was too slow and that was worrisome. “There is a bit of urgency that needs to be exerted; we are not so comfortable with the speed at which we are progressing but we are cognisant of the challenges in terms of material availability and maintenance of machinery, lack of spares and others; all which will be addressed by the taskforce,” he said.

Last week, secretary in the office of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s office, Godfrey Chanakira said government would look into all issues raised and see whether they would extend financial support.

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