By Desmond Nleya/ Simbarashe Sithole
Bulawayo East legislator Ilos Nyoni has demanded answers on the progress of Egodini Mall which was supposed to be complete by April 2022.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday the legislator took Deputy Minister of local government and Public Works Miriam Chombo to task on the matter.
“May the Minister inform the House of Assembly on the progress made regarding the construction of Egodini Mall project by contractor W Terracotra Trading P/L which was awarded tender Terracotra in 2016, with the projection that the project will be completed in April 2022,” Nyoni said
When the Private Limited Company won the tender prospects were high that the new project will further spice up the City of Kings into a modern entity.
However, 8 years down, the City of Kings has turned into a compound of unorganised and dirty paupers owing to the closure of the once ‘trade mark of Bulawayo.
It’s closure has led to the congestion of the city with vendors scattered in every available space and commuter omnibus causing havoc within the Central Bussiness centre.
As expected the government responded by saying there was notable progress at the sight though indications on the ground points otherwise.
The Deputy Minister said commuters are expected to start using the new Mall in September this year.
“Currently, practical completion of the taxi rank and associated infrastructure is expected at the end of July 2022 with passengers being able to commute as from 1 September 2022 subject to opening of the facility by the relevant authorities”, said the Deputy Minister.
She further stated that construction of informal trader stores and other infrastructure started in March this year after delays which were caused by Covid 19 lockdowns.
The said infrastructure is also expected to be complete and pave way for informal traders by September as well.
“In March 2022, top structutre construction of the 1100 informal trader stores and related infrastructure started. Brick work for all informal trader stores is expected to be completed by the end of July 2022. Fabrication of all the informal trader structure steel work is 80%
complete. Currently, practical completion of the informal trader stores
section is expected at the end of July 2022 with qualifying informal
traders getting beneficial training occupation on 1 September 2022”, she said.
The Deputy Minister further claimed that Covid induced lockdowns and financial constraints led to the delay of the commencement of the project.
Once complete the mall is expected to house bus terminal building, fast food retails, grocery retails and a fuel station while also decongesting the city.