Lo­cals warned against fronting for for­eign­ers

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili

THE Gov­ern­ment is con­cerned with Zim­bab­weans who dis­guise them­selves as com­pany own­ers to win State ten­ders while be­ing used by for­eign­ers as fronts.

The Min­is­ter of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment, Dr Jo­ram Gumbo, said lo­cals who are be­ing used as fronts by for­eign­ers are de­feat­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s em­pow­er­ment ini­tia­tives.

He said Gov­ern­ment has ob­served with con­cern that a lot of peo­ple pose as busi­ness own­ers to win mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar Gov­ern­ment ten­ders yet they hand them over to for­eign­ers.

“There are projects where we say 40 per­cent of our lo­cals should par­tic­i­pate in. We want to see Zim­bab­weans ben­e­fit­ing from the 40 per­cent of the value of the project. For in­stance on the Beit­bridge-Chirundu road, we made a re­in­force­ment that our peo­ple should ben­e­fit from the project,” he said.

“But most of the times I’ve seen lo­cals com­ing to ap­ply for ten­ders and when we look be­hind them we find that there is some­body who is not a Zim­bab­wean run­ning the show.

“Lo­cals are only be­ing used as the face of com­pa­nies be­cause they are Zim­bab­weans.”

The min­is­ter said Gov­ern­ment was aware that some in­di­vid­u­als pur­port­ing to own com­pa­nies for the du­al­i­sa­tion of the Beit­bridge-Chirundu High­way project were fronting for­eign na­tion­als.

Dr Gumbo said Gov­ern­ment wants to em­power lo­cals hence they must be ea­ger to take con­trol of the econ­omy.

The min­is­ter said gen­uine busi­ness­peo­ple should ap­ply for ten­ders.

“I will then give them the con­tract, but I won’t be em­pow­er­ing them as the Pres­i­dent wants us to em­power our lo­cals,” he said.

We will be em­pow­er­ing the per­son that is at the back who is not Zim­bab­wean. That is my con­cern,” said Dr Gumbo.

“My word to Zim­bab­weans is that when we are do­ing these projects, not only in the Min­istry of Trans­port and when ne­go­ti­a­tions are made where a por­tion should be given to our lo­cals, let our peo­ple get ready to take up these jobs as lo­cals not as front man for peo­ple from out­side the coun­try.

“We would not have em­pow­ered you if we do that.”

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