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Local firms fume over tenders

Loughty Dube

LOCAL contractors have alleged unfair dealing in the award by government to Chinese firms of two tenders for the construction of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP

) and the Lupane government complex.

The tender for the MZWP project was awarded to the Chinese Electrical Machinery and Equipment Company while a $2,6 billion deal for the Lupane project went to another Chinese firm.

Chinese Water and Electrical Company was earlier this year awarded another tender to clear land and grow crops on behalf of the government at Nuanetsi Ranch in southern Zimbabwe.

Matabeleland North governor, Obert Mpofu, confirmed that a Chinese company had been awarded the tender to construct the Lupane complex but would not disclose its name.

“The Lupane government complex tender was definitely given to a Chinese company but I cannot at this moment give you the name of the company that won the tender,” Mpofu said.

The local construction industry has alleged clandestine dealings in the award of the two tenders saying the two companies did not submit bid-bonds when they bid for the projects.

Zimbabwe Builders and Contractors Association chairman George Wutaumire confirmed the allegations that the Chinese companies did not hand over bid-bonds with their tender documents.

“The information we have is that the Chinese did not have bid-bonds and that is very wrong,” Wutaumire said.

“We do not know what criteria the State Procurement Board used to adjudicate the tenders when the winning tender was meant to have been disqualified on a technicality,” he said.

Five construction companies submitted bids for the Lupane government complex including Costain, Kuchi Construction, and Murray & Roberts.

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