Source: Harare-Beitbridge Highway: Contractors fall prey to conmen | The Herald June 7, 2016
Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
Several contractors could have been prejudiced of thousands of dollars by conmen who have been claiming that they are subcontracted in the dualisation of Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the conmen were demanding $2 000 from each contractor claiming that they were the ones facilitating the project.
“Some whistle-blowers came to the ministry and advised officials that there were some people who were claiming to be the ones listing the names of companies who will be sub-contracted on the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway,” he said.
“They were demanding $2 000 from each contractor saying that they knew officials who were in charge of registration at the ministry. The fact is that there is no registration taking place at the ministry for that purpose. People should be careful of being conned.
“There is no way we can register people when the tender has already been awarded to a private player (Geiger International). It is that private player and its Chinese contractor who will do the subcontracting and not the ministry or any official from the ministry.”
Minister Gumbo said a number of people had approached the ministry over the matter adding that the matter would be dealt with by security agents.
He said there was a possibility that some contractors could have been prejudiced, as such they should report to the ministry.
“What is clear is that these conmen are targeting contractors with earthmoving machinery. But our plea is that people should not be misled.
The company that has been awarded the tender will flight adverts when the time comes and everything will be done transparently without people having to pay facilitation fee or whatever. But what they should note is that this will not be done by the ministry.
“We are raising the issue of these conmen with the police so that they can investigate the matter. We are handing the information to them and it will be up to CID Serious Frauds to determine,” said Minister Gumbo.
Officials from Geiger International and its Chinese contractor are expected to meet Minister Gumbo and officials from his ministry to agree on the implementation matrix of the dualisation process.
Minister Gumbo said it was in that meeting where they were expected to agree on when dualisation will start and the role local companies will play.
He said in the meeting they would also agree on the resources that will be locally procured as a way of empowering Zimbabweans.
Dr Gumbo said the project was expected to be completed within three years of commencement