Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) has dismissed as false and misleading remarks by Transport minister, Joel Biggie Matiza that the US$400 million NRZ recapitalisation project was slow owing to the group’s lack of money.
The project which is between the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and South African rail, port, and pipeline utility, Transnet, and its partner the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) was publicly commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year.
Responding to allegations that the group had no money, the DIDG said that It has obtained term sheets from leading South African, Zimbabwean, and Kenyan banks which are ready to provide close to US$1 billion to fund the project.
DIDG also said that it gave the Transport minister proof of funding during a stakeholders’ meeting on October 1, 2018. The minister, however, has argued that the term sheets are not binding. Meanwhile, DIDG insists that binding agreements setting forth the basic terms and conditions under which funding will be made will only be issued upon completion and signing of all the outstanding agreements for the project.
The group further argues that Mataiza and his colleagues, transaction and legal advisers are responsible for the prolonged negotiations. There have been reports suggesting that Matiza and other officials no longer want the project in its current form.
More: The Independent