December 07, 2019: The government of Zimbabwe has ordered the state-owned rail services provider, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to hold a new tender for its recapitalisation project.
This is after South Africa cancelled the previous $400 million deal won by a consortium that comprises of the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) and Transnet, a South African logistics group, back in August 2017.
Joel Biggie Matiza, transport and infrastructural development minister said that NRZ recapitalisation project is the key to the revival of the industry as it will facilitate the bulk movement of goods and people and assured that in the new tender, DIDG and Transnet will not be allowed to participate.
According to Nick Mangwana, the permanent secretary at Zimbabwe’s information ministry, the consortium failed to meet contractual timelines, two years after winning the tender, mainly failing to provide proof of funding despite repeated inquiries from the government.
Furthermore, Mangwana said that differences had emerged between the consortium partners. The group had won the tender using the financial books of Transnet, but later DIDG presented a funding structure based on funds sourced internationally, which excluded Transnet.
“The government indulged the consortium by working with them outside the framework agreement but they failed to present a common position,” Mangwana said. “The exclusion of Transnet had a legal impact on the tender which had been awarded to them as a consortium. In light of the foregoing, the government decided to issue a new tender.”
In October this year, NRZ signed a deal with Union Wagons of Russia for the supply of wagons and locomotives. Under the deal, the state-owned rail services provider expects to boost its capacity utilisation through the supply of 5,000 wagons. The first 100 wagons are expected to arrive in January 2020 at a cost of $10 million.