Parliament asks Transport Minister to clarify Beitbridge–Harare road tender and who owns Zimbabwe Airways

Transport Minister Joram Gumbo should tell the nation who owns Zimbabwe Airways and the current status of the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Harare Road, Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi said in Parliament yesterday.

He said there were a lot of things being said about the Beitbridge-Harare Road including the cancellation of the tender and tenders being awarded to people that had not submitted any bids in the first place.

“On Zimbabwe Airways, he should tell the nation issues like who owns it, how were the aeroplanes bought and the shareholding of that company.”

Gumbo said he was prepared to make the statement yesterday but acting Speaker Reuben Marumahoko said he should bring a written statement.

There have been reports that cabinet cancelled the Beitbridge-Harare road tender awarded to Geiger International but these reports have been refuted saying the company was given 60 days to own up.

On Zimbabwe Airways, people are interested in knowing whether it belongs to the former first family and if not what role former President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore plays.

It might be almost a month before the nation knows because Parliament was yesterday adjourned to 8 May.

Q &A:

HON. MARIDADI:  I rise on a point of order Mr. Speaker.  Seeing that the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is in the House this afternoon and seeing that there is a lot of talk about Zimbabwe Airways and the dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge road and there are a lot of things that have been said pertaining to that road, cancellation of tenders and tenders being awarded to people that have not submitted bids in the first place;  I thought I would want him to favour this House with a Ministerial Statement on basically those two issues.   On Zimbabwe Airways, he should tell the nation issues like who owns it, how were the aeroplanes bought and the shareholding of that company.  So, Mr. Speaker I so submit and hope the Minister will favour us with that Ministerial Statement.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Maridadi, the issue of the Harare-Beitbridge Road was discussed yesterday and I am sure the Minister was informed or will be informed about it.  However, let me find out from the Hon. Minister if he wants to commit himself.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know whether I can respond to what the Hon. Member is asking now or should I bring a prepared statement.  I have no problem in responding to that now, with your permission.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I think it will be better if you come up with a prepared statement.

HON. MLISWA: On a point of order, Hon. Speaker, I just want to add something to that statement, there must be the shareholding structure because I am told that the statement made by Hon. Chinamasa is not true that there is a company.  We want also the name of the Singaporean company, we want to know who owns it because what I have been told and what is there is that ….

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, Hon. Maridadi had already asked the Minister to make a statement.

HON. MLISWA: What I am trying to say Mr. Speaker Sir is that Zimbabwe Airways is a company that is going to lease from another company. That company is registered in Singapore and the Zimbabwean Government owns the planes. Hence we need to know who that company is because it is appears to be a very sophisticated structure. That is why I am spending time saying Zimbabwe Airways shareholders as well as shareholders of the company that leases from the Government must also be known. Therefore your statement must be clear so that there will be no more grey areas in that regard. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir I have already admitted that I am ready to give a Ministerial Statement containing all details, including commas and full-stops thereof.  I have no problem my brother and I will give you everything. Do not worry.  However, let me just preliminarily explain for the sake of the media. The company he is referring to, for your information, is not registered in Singapore.  It is registered in Zimbabwe. Wait for issuance of the statement and then ask your questions. I assure you that you will be very happy, at the end of the day.

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