Before snapping cement company Lafarge Zimbabwe, Fossil Contracting, a company fronted by businessman Obey Chimuka but linked to tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei, had already been controversially awarded a US$132 152 527 tender by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to construct Ziminya Dam in Nkayi.
Information gleaned by Nehanda Radio from highly placed government sources and undeniable documents revealed that Fossil Contracting is among 15 companies that were awarded tenders to build dams, bridges and supply equipment. The aforementioned company is the highest paid.
Luckdrops Drillings (Private) Limited was also awarded US$2 598 370 to supply and deliver drilling rigs and compressors with capacity.
Conduit Investment (Private) Limited was also awarded USS28 322 234,85 to do the same job.
After the awarding of the multimillion tender, Fossil then entered into a binding agreement with the Holcim Group to take over Zimbabwe’s leading cement maker, Lafarge Zimbabwe, a move sources described as a “launch-pad to fasttrack and monopolise construction projects”.
Tagwirei, a close ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has won billions worth of tenders from the government in the last 10 years.
One of his many companies, Landela Investments, reportedly received US$110 million from the government to import buses for the state run Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) without going to tender.
The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has since slapped the business tycoon and his Sakunda Holdings with sanctions for allegedly providing support to the Zanu PF regime and promoting corruption.
Last year, Tagwirei, after being sanctioned for corruption, continued to do business by relocating his network to Mauritius.
The controversial fuel mogul is said to be presiding over a sprawling network of more than 40 companies spanning the oil, mining, banking, logistics, transportation, and import/export, which have been linked to alleged corrupt activities and state capture.