Grace Kombora/Augustine Mukaro
GOVERNMENT has awarded a tender for the construction of long-overdue Kunzvi Dam to the Chinese amid allegations that normal tender procedures were not followed.
Information to hand shows that China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technology Cooperation (CJCIETC) was on May 12 awarded the $1,3 trillion tender ahead of five local bidders without any reasons given.
Local companies, which had applied for the tender, include former Zanu PF’s parliamentary aspirant Oliver Chidawo’s Kuchi Builders, Zhombe MP Daniel Mackenzie-Ncube’s Ncube Burrow, Hydro Utilities, Release Power Investment, and Inter-consult.
Kunzvi dam, to be built at the confluence of the Nyaguwe and Nora Rivers in Goromonzi district, falls in a different catchment area from Chivero, Manyame, Seke and Harava dams that derive their water from the Manyame River. Once completed, the dam is expected to ease critical water problems faced by the residents of Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton.
Sources privy to the project said at the beginning of the year government applied a special tendering process which awarded the contract to the Chinese. Kunzvi becomes the second high-profile project to be awarded under a special – and opaque – tendering process after the Zupco tender was given to Jayesh Shah’s Gift Investments.
“The Chinese have started dam embankment, drilling a borehole and moved some earth-moving equipment to the site,” the source said.
CJCIETC chief representative Liaming Jin refused to comment referring all questions to Zinwa. “I don’t answer questions from reporters, can you go to Zinwa please,” Jin said.
Minister of State for Water Resources and Infrastructural Development, Munacho Mutezo, could not be reached for comment as his mobile went unanswered.
Ncube Burrow managing director Daniel Mackenzie-Ncube confirmed that his company submitted a tender but was rejected without any explanation.
“I never followed up the matter of how the tender was awarded,” Ncube said. “Government on the other hand never got back to us on how we lost the bid.”