6 bidders qualify for National Railways of Zimbabwe recapitalization?

SIX potential investors have been shortlisted for the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s $400 million recapitalisation tender that closed yesterday.

The tendering process opened on May 5, 2017 and attracted more than 80 local and international bidders.

The winning bidders are Sino Hydro, China Civil Engineering, Crowhat International (from Europe) Croax Private Ltd (South Africa), Malaysia SMH Rail and DIDG/Transnet, a consortium of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and Transnet.

NRZ board chairman, Mr Larry Mavima, said the next step was to do an adjudication process after which recommendations would be sent to the State Procurement Board and the Government.

“We are quite happy with the response from the prospective bidders. Six winning bidders have qualified for the $400 million NRZ recapitalisation bidding process. The next step now is to do an adjudication process which will begin on the 10th of July and is expected to be concluded on July 21,” he told Business Chronicle in a telephone interview from Harare.

“The adjudication committee will then pass its recommendations to the SPB and thereafter the recommendations will be forwarded to Government through the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development (Dr Joram Gumbo).”

Mr Mavima, who was appointed to the helm of the strategic entity in March 2016, has said the revival of the NRZ is hinged on securing a strategic partner.

He said it was their hope that by September they would have signed a contract with the investor under the $400 million recapitalisation project setting the tone for the implementation of the deal.

In relation to the human resources concerns at the troubled parastatal, Mr Mavima said: “As we restructure, you cannot have a half-baked approach. And as we turnaround, obviously, we will consider the staffing levels looking at the impact of the capital injection at NRZ and see how best we can strike a balance.”

About 4 000 people are presently employed by NRZ compared to 20 000 at its peak in 1999.

“With the support that we have received from Government, as board and management, we are aware of the workers’ grievances and we have given them assurances,” said Mr Mavima.

The troubled parastatal, which needs about $1.9 billion in the long-term, is saddled with a $144 million legacy debt. Last year, NRZ workers embarked on an industrial action that lasted for about three months demanding 15 months unpaid salaries with the railways firm owing them about $80 million.

Though NRZ employees are now getting something, the non-payment of full salaries remains unchanged. It is hoped that the NRZ board and management will prioritise the resuscitation of the railways company, which for years has been faced with aging infrastructure and equipment, before workers start receiving full salaries.

Towards the end of last year, the Government commissioned 31 state-of-the-art wagons from China Railway Rolling Stock Company under a $2.9 million deal for the NRZ in a move aimed at boosting the entity’s operational capacity.


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Source: The Chronicle

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