Zimbabwe Railway Recapitalisation Programme No Longer Exclusive

Zimbabwe Railway Recapitalisation Programme No Longer Exclusive

It was noted in a recent questions and answers session this week with Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport Hon. J. B. Matiza, that there is currently a contractual issue in respect of the DIDG / Transnet deal for the recapitalisation of the NRZ.

The Minister was responding to HON. T. MLISWA, who asked, “Minister why are you not approving a contract which a Minister before you approved and the President commissioned again so that NRZ does function?”

According to the Minister of Transport, the DIDG Consortium with Transnet was awarded the contract to refurbish the NRZ and this included raising the required finance. The consortium had 12 month in which to meet the contractual requirements. The consortium has not provided the information required or proof of funding, and the final agreement expired. ( This agreement was not an implementation agreement )

The Minister states, “We had to give them an extension of another six months; we actually should not have done that. We removed the exclusivity clause to allow other people; we could have had serious contractors who could have our rail ticking. We are not only looking at external, we are also inward looking as Government, coming up with a policy framework that we think will make sure that we sustain our transport system as far as the railway is concerned. The issues that are at hand in this transaction are above board and are all meant to make sure that we have a proper rail system working.”

When challenged as to why an additional six months has been granted to the consortium and why it was not immediately terminated, the Minister responded, “I have said, the first agreement, the 12 months agreement had an exclusivity clause, that means nobody else would be allowed to get into that before the expiry of the 12 months. After that, we removed the exclusivity clause and we also wanted to give them that opportunity to do that and allow other competitors to come in. So, it does not prejudice anybody.”

According to the Minister the additional six months were granted earlier this year when the Transnet board came to Zimbabwe. “In give and take situations, we looked at the environment in which we were discussing these issues and we granted them the six months but without the exclusivity clause,” noted the Minister.

The Minister clarifies further, “The clarification is here. The framework of agreement that was signed is not an agreement to implement the project. It is an agreement to bring information by DIDG Transnet to show that they have what it takes to get into contract with NRZ. This is not to implement the project. Implementation of the project was going to come after they have put all the information together and then we are satisfied that they can do the project.”

So, according to the ministry the fact is, that now the whole process is open to everybody, and the current Transnet rolling stock is being leased and this will continue, even if the deal does not go through.

It was clearly a heated conversation, judging by the minutes which, you can access: 

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