Vice President, General (retired) Constantino Chiwenga is reported to have pushed for the cancellation of Geiger International’s tender to dualise the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundi highway.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa cancelled the Austrian firm’s tender when he was on a state visit in China. A government source who spoke to the independent weekly publication, The Financial Gazette said,
Rest assured, the President’s actions were not knee-jerk, but a combination of factors including a lack of movement and construction activity on this key infrastructural project, and possibly the VP’s candid exchange with Gumbo late last year that the European final had failed us.
In that meeting, it is also understood that Chiwenga suggested that we terminate the contract with Geiger and look for a more serious financier, and partner from China as well.
And in my view, this is not only what might have informed Mnangagwa, and the government’s actions on the matter, but quite telling on who is calling the shots within the establishment.
The Austrian company was awarded the tender by former president Robert Mugabe’s government in May 2016 to dualise the highway on a 25-year Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis. However, the project never took off due to funding problems.
More: Financial Gazette