At least 135 residential, industrial and commercial properties built near the Mbudzi roundabout in Harare are set to be demolished to pave way for the construction of 14 bridges and bridge-like structures at the new traffic interchange.
Construction at the site has already started.
The Government has engaged three valuers, one of them from the Public Works, while two others are independent ones, to carry out the assessment of those affected.
The Herald reports that those affected will get full compensation from the Government.
The Mbudzi roundabout is at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze, Chitungwiza and High Glen roads that feed traffic from western Chitungwiza and many old and new suburbs into Harare city centre, as well as the heavy national and regional traffic on the Harare-Masvingo Highway.
In an interview, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development’s permanent secretary Engineer Kudzanai Chinyanga said they were happy with the progress being conducted at the Mbudzi traffic interchange by the contractor, Tefoma Group. He said:
So far the last time we were here we were talking about this bridge which is bridge number two. Bridge number two is the one which carries traffic towards High Glen, Glen Norah and the like.
So far on assessment of the project, we are excited and hoping that the contractor is keeping the progress. However, the drawback is that it has taken us more than we anticipated to conclude the compensation issues which are still ongoing.
We have completed the valuation of all affected properties. We want to ensure that each and every affected citizen is not disadvantaged at all and that they are paid a fair compensation.
We have one group of affected citizens with title deeds, one group of citizens who are on leases. So we will deal with them separately. Those who are on leases are mainly on the Hopely side.
There is a plan to get land quickly, put up some core houses for them and then move them. We will not leave anybody without shelter and this we are putting up arrangements to ensure that once we conclude with them, we agree with them, we move them and make sure that everyone is accommodated.
Eng Chinyanga said those with title deeds, the Government was considering two options with one of them being for them to identify properties of their choice of equivalent value and then Government pays.
He said in total, there were 14 bridges that were to be constructed at the interchange and out of these, five were already under construction.
Chinyanga added that when constructors start working on the main bridge, the junction will be closed completely.
He added that they were going to install traffic lights and humps to control the speed at the main junctions.
In two to three weeks’ time, the intersection will be shut down and those that need access to their properties near the intersection will be given special stickers to pass through.