Transport Minister Joram Gumbo was taken to task yesterday when Bulawayo South legislator Eddie Cross asked him on what basis an Austrian company Geiger International was awarded the tender for the dualisation of the country’s busiest road because it appeared to be a very small company.
Cross said he could not find any records about the company at all.
“..I cannot find any record of it in Austria and all, none at all. It has an address in a small Austrian village but that is the only thing I can find,” he said.
Gumbo said Geiger was an international financier with offices in Austria and China and said the tender was open and was distributed to all embassies.
Asked why the project was taking too long to implement when it was launched with fanfare at Chaka Business Centre last year, Gumbo said Geiger was not to blame.
He said the contractor had indeed said the project would take off in three months but there were issues which the government had to address like declaration of project national status and the opening of the accounts.
The House, however, did not seem impressed with the minister’s explanation and asked him to issue a ministerial statement, which he agreed to do.
Q & A:
HON. CROSS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Minister, on what basis was the firm Geiger International appointed to be responsible for the road construction from Beitbridge to Chirundu?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Cross for that very important question. Mr. Speaker Sir, Geiger International was awarded a tender that had been flighted by Government for the Construction and dualisation of the Beitbridge/Harare/Chirundu road. This was done and they were awarded in May, 2016. After the award, that road from Beitbridge/Harare/Chirundu was split because the award by the SPB was not only to Geiger International, but it was to Geiger International and a company called China Harbour which is a Chinese company and short named CHEC.
The two were working together and were jointly awarded the dualisation of the Beitbridge/Harare/Chirundu road. They further on decided to split that road into two because the section from Beitbridge to Harare is a PPP and then the section of Harare ring road to Chirundu is a loan section. Therefore, the loan section was separated from the PPP section. That is the arrangement. It was awarded to the two companies on a response to a tender which had been flighted by Government and the SPB Number, I cannot remember it by head but it is clear and that is what really happened. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
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