GOVERNMENT has called on private players and foreign operators to come to the rescue of Zimbabwe’s crumbling infrastructure. Presenting the 2004 annual budget yesterday Finance minister Herbert
Murerwa admitted that the country’s infrastructure required urgent rehabilitation but government alone could not manage because of serious financial constraints.
“Practically all infrastructure in the country urgently requires rehabilitation, upgrading or expansion,” Murerwa said.
“In particular, the capacity as well as the quality of services provided in sectors such as water, roads, railways, airports, electricity, education, health, posts and telecommunications pose serious bottlenecks to the country’s economic growth prospects.”
Murerwa said government as the traditional financier and provider of the above infrastructure services was facing severe financial constraints, it will involve private sector through concessioning and build operate and transfer (BOT) schemes to meet the gap.
“Concessions will be explored with foreign operators for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the railway track and signalling systems,” he said.
He said the road dualisation programme would continue to be financed through budgetary allocation complemented by private sector participation on BOT basis.
All government projects ground to a halt this year with their allocations being exhausted before doing any meaningful work.