Tuesday, 24 July 2018

ED IN A RUSH

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday officially commissioned the upgrading of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport funded through a $153 million loan facility from China’s Eximbank.

Addressing delegates at the ground-breaking ceremony, Mnangagwa said his government was committed to improving the national infrastructure, particularly airports, roads and the railway system, adding that it would go a long way in the country’s quest for economic revival.

“Today’s event is taking place following the commissioning of the commencement of works on the modernisation and upgrading of Beitbridge Border Post and other similar infrastructure, investment initiatives in mining, energy, ICTs, agriculture, education sectors, among others,” Mnangagwa said.

The upgrading of the airport was long in the pipeline before Mnangagwa took over power from his predecessor, President Robert Mugabe.

In November last year, when the airport was renamed from Harare International Airport, Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joram Gumbo disclosed that the project would soon kick off after the Zimbabwean and Chinese governments signed the funding agreement.

Gumbo said the Chinese government had since given the go-ahead for Zimbabwe to start accessing the money and all that was left was to sign the official funding agreement.
The airport, with a passenger capacity of 2,5 million per year and a capacity utilisation of 45%, was last upgraded in 2001.


The Victoria Falls International Airport was refurbished in 2016 through a loan from China’s Eximbank. Newsday

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