The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) executive is under investigation for awarding a US$109 million Kunzvi Dam construction tender to China Nanchang Engineering, a firm with a shady past, ahead of other cheaper yet competitive bids.
Nanchang’s US$108 885 000 bid was ranked fifth, based on costs. The lowest bid was from SinoHydro and Marmfold joint-venture at US$65 523 463; followed by Jiangxi (US$78 130 826), JR Godart (US$83 971 779) and RDAVIS Company (US$99 948 883).
The Zinwa executive Wednesday came under fire from MPs on Parliament’s portfolio committee on Lands, Agriculture, Rural Resources, Water Development and Resettlement after failing to avail documents for the Kunzvi Dam tendering process as per the request of the committee, prior to the appearance.
Zinwa was supposed to give oral evidence on the Kunzvi Dam tendering process as well as on the controversial contract for prepaid water meters they entered into with various companies.
Zinwa ended up giving evidence on prepaid water meters only after failing to furnish the committee with required documents. The committee chairperson, Mayor Wadyajena, ordered Zinwa executives to avail the documents by the end of business on Wednesday.
The NewsHawks’ Mary Mundeya reports that Wadyajena said it was unfair to expect legislators to discuss the Kunzvi tendering process without having had prior access to the relevant documents. Wadyajena said:
We can’t discuss the Kunzvi Dam building tender process when we have nothing in front of us. Its unfair to honourable members, including myself, so we would rather discuss Kunzvi when you have submitted the required relevant documents.
We sent a letter to your office requesting the submission of the Kunzvi Dam building tender process and we had assumed that by now you would have submitted the documents. We want them submitted by end of day.
China Nanchang Engineering had its accounts frozen by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in 2029 for illegal black market foreign currency trading activities.
In 2019, Nanchang was taken to court for muscling into the US$171 million Silverstroom Dam project in Mashonaland Central province outside the tender process. The tender had been won by Jiangxi but the government corruptly reversed the tender and awarded it to Nanchang.
Jiangxi approached the High Court to complain. Eventually, an out of court settlement was reached and the project remained with China Nanchang.
SinoHydro, which had submitted the lowest and competitive bid (US$65 523 463.61) in partnership with a local company Marmfold Engineers, believes that given its lowest bid, capacity and experience, it should have won the Kunzvi Dam tender.
Kunzvi Dam is located 67 kilometres north-east of Harare near Juru Growth Point in Goromonzi district in Mashonaland East province.
More: The NewsHawks