Your Excellency, Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado;

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs – Mashonaland West Province, Hon. Shamu;

Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr. Mapuranga;

Senior Government Officials;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am pleased to be here today on the occasion of the handover of bituminous products by the Japanese Government. This donation is indicative of the warm and cordial relations that exist between our two countries.

Your Excellency, this donation has indeed been timely. I say this because last season we experienced heavy rains which resulted in most of our road infrastructure being damaged. We have since been carrying out Emergency Road Repairs around the country. I am pleased to report that since February this year we have constructed approximately 112 kilometres and resealed a total of 356 kilometres of road under this programme.

Your Excellency, through this kind gesture, we received 4 744 metric tonnes of Bitumen, 1 164 metric tonnes of Cutback Bitumen and 1 446 metric tonnes of Cationic Emulsion (CATMIX) with a total value of USD$5 503 894. The Department of Roads and other Road Authorities in the country, particularly municipalities, have benefited immensely from this donation.

Your Excellency, we have over the years also received grants and technical assistance from the Japanese Government and this has greatly assisted us in the development of our infrastructure. I refer here to the construction of the bridge across the Zambezi River at Chirundu, and the supply of various items of road construction equipment.

As we are gathered here today, some of our personnel are undergoing technical training programmes in Japan. This enables us to improve our construction and maintenance programmes by continuous improvement of our staff. Your Excellency, we are also receiving technical assistance from your government in the construction of 12.5 kilometres climbing lanes and widening on the Makuti-Hellsgate section along the Harare-Chirundu highway.

May I, therefore, express my gratitude to the Japanese Government for their generous assistance. We hope to continue working together with our Japanese counterparts in the development of infrastructure in Zimbabwe.

I Thank You.


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