Parliament takes Gumbo to task over the Beitbridge-Harare Road dualisation


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HON. CROSS: Hon. Minister, on what basis will the actual contracts for the construction of the road be made? Will Geiger International go out to public tender for each section so that the price is determined under open competition?

HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I do not think I understand what the Hon. Member wants me to respond to.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can the Hon. Member explain?

HON. CROSS: Hon. Minister, you have awarded the tender to two companies but they cannot be in a price…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you address yourself to the Hon. Speaker.

HON. CROSS: Sorry Mr. Speaker, I hope you understand it. The tender was awarded to these two companies but on what basis could they have possibly come to a price because there was no design, no route, no public provision of documents and neither company is a construction company. So, I am asking the Hon. Minister to explain how will this project now go to tender because I assume that the Chinese partner was the financier and Geiger, we must suspect is not a major construction company because 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. So, I want to know from the Minister how these elements in the project can be awarded from a tender point of view? 

THE HON. SPEAKER: With that explanation Hon. Minister, I am sure you can answer now.

HON. DR. GUMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you for the explanation. Just a bit of some background to the issue on the company that is being talked about – Geiger International is not a construction company, they are a financier. They applied or intended to come to do the road as a financier not a construction company, that is allowed. They provide the finances and they have got offices in Austria and in China. They are really a very big company for the information of the Hon. Member of Parliament.

Secondly, the feasibility study for the road from Beitbridge to Harare had already been done. The Ministry was already seized by the requirements for the road. When the companies that tendered for this road made their submissions, there was already a feasibility study which had taken place and it is on the basis of that feasibility study that Geiger International won the tender because by that time, they actually provided a submission that had the affordable rates at 2% to the loan that was required and the other companies actually had their interest rates which were higher than the 2% that Geiger International provided. So, it was really above board. It was really professional; a feasibility study had been done.  So, it was on the basis of the feasibility study that had been done by the Ministry that Geiger international was awarded the tender.  I thank you.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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