PARLIAMENTARY Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development chairperson, Dexter Nduna has slammed continued Chinese investment in Zimbabwe which he said has deliberately sidelined local contractors.
Nduna, who is also Chegutu West legislator, said China has been bringing in its human capital and equipment to work on the projects, yet the resources can be easily sourced locally.
He said such has been the case with the Victoria Falls International Airport upgrading exercise and Mutare-Harare highway rehabilitation.
“The Chinese are bringing in everything, from log and stock to bolts and nuts…What we know happened is that the $150 million (Vic Falls airport upgrade) came in from a Chinese bank and they brought their own contractors.
“What we know should never happen in future contracts is that we do not want the sidelining of local contractors because what we do know is that the US$150 million we got is a loan, which we still need to pay back. So if we do not benefit in terms of jobs and sub contraction for communities and local contractors, we have shot ourselves on the foot,” said Nduna.
The outspoken MP categorically stated that such loans are meant to benefit Zimbabwe and not China, hence there should not be recurrence of the sidelining of local contractors in future projects of such magnitude.
“So we do not want such a recurrence in the future. In particular, we do not want that recurring on the Beitbridge-Chirundu highway (rehabilitation exercise). We have learnt lessons on the Mutare-Harare highway which should never reoccur in the Beitbridge project. We have learnt lessons in the US$150 million Victoria Falls airport expansion project that should not reoccur in any other future development of that magnitude,” he said.
Nduna vouched to make sure that local contractors benefit from the project since they have expertise to handle projects of such magnitude.