Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) has said it is still carrying due diligence in approving a parking management system tender in Bulawayo and establish if the identified partner had the capacity to carry out the project.
Bulawayo City Council awarded the tender to Trendy Three Investments and the two will enter into a partnership to run the city parking system. The tender was finally awarded in September last year after 10 years since it was first proposed. Early last year the local authority re-advertised the tender after a decade of a back-and-forth toil in finalising it.
Council was dragged to court by one of the initial bidding companies — Megalithic — that accused the local authority of irregularly cancelling the tender when the company had won it.
After the courts finally allowed council to go ahead with the tender, Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube in January last year flighted an advertisement in the local media calling for expressions of interest from companies for the designing and installation of the parking management system. However, seven months after the awarding of the tender to Trendy Three, nothing has taken off with BCC awaiting the green light from Zida.
Responding to questions from Sunday News, Zida chief investments and corporate affairs manager Mr Tino Kambasha said the investment body was appraising the project proposal by Trendy Three Investments and was also establishing whether the company had the capacity to embark on this milestone project. He said the main objective from a Zida point of view was to ensure that the city is matched with a partner that is able to deliver the task at hand.
“From practice, the high failure of project implementation is due to inability to identify the right partner, leading to failures in multiple projects. Zida is therefore, ensuring that the preferred partner has the requisite skills, technology and capacity to execute on the project. What could be viewed as delays is actually a due diligence process meant to establish facts before recommending approval of the project.
“At the moment we are undertaking an exercise to ascertain the capacity of the investor, their experience and readiness to implement the project. We are looking at the legal, technical and operational due diligence, including the acceptable proof of funding to bankroll the project,” said Mr Kambasha.
He said once all the critical aspects are accomplished, the project will be recommended for approval.
He said Zida does not approve any Private-Public-Partnerships, they simply recommend them to an inter-ministerial committee chaired by Treasury.
“Zida believes in a thorough process especially where public funds are involved. We have sent a delegation to physically check the system on the ground and they are due back this week. Our findings might probe us to ask for further information and the sooner we receive it, the quicker we can come to a conclusion.
“We are not in the business of endorsing deals before fully completing a financial, physical, technical, socio-economic impact, environmental, skills transfer, community beneficiation analysis. We do believe such a system will greatly benefit the city, but we have to make sure we do this and any other processes the right way as some of these decisions will last long after any of us are in office,” said Mr Kambasha.
According to the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency Act the Private, Public Partnerships Unit among other things has the responsibility of considering the said proposals where they are affordable to the contracting authority, provide value for money and are competitive.