BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
GOVERNMENT has not yet formally communicated to the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) concerning the termination of the US$400 million deal meant to revive the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), an official has said.
Government recently cancelled the US$400 million deal with DIDG-Transnet consortium, claiming the group had failed to comply with contractual timelines as well as to show it had the financial backing to complete the project.
But two weeks since the deal was cancelled, government is yet to inform the affected parties, according to DIDG director of corporate affairs Vimbayi Kanyonganise.
“We have not received any formal communication at all,” Kanyonganise told NewsDay in emailed responses.
The DIDG/Transnet consortium won a bid to partner NRZ in the US$400 million recapitalisation project in August 2017.
The deal involved the rehabilitation and renewal of plant, equipment, rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications infrastructure and the supporting information technology systems.
It also targeted to repair and rehabilitate infrastructure and equipment such as locomotives, wagons and coaches, as well as phased modernisation of train control systems.
Asked how much the company had incurred since negotiations started, Kanyonganise said: “Yes, we have incurred a lot of costs over the past two years, as expected when executing a transaction, but the issue here for us is not about costs incurred but about seeing the project through.”
Commenting on Zimbabwe’s open for business mantra, she said “we are Zimbabweans first, so at the end of the day Zimbabwe will always be open for business for us. It’s important that we can operate in our home country as we only have one.”
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services hit a snag as both the minister Monica Mutsvangwa, her deputy Energy Mutodi as well as permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana did not answer their phones.
DIDG hinted that it could take legal action to challenge the cancellation of the deal.