The multi-million-dollar project to fix Zimbabwe’s Air Traffic Control Communication Systems (ATCCS) by a Chinese company is yet to commence, seven months after the contract was signed.
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) signed a contract that will see the former supplying and installing air traffic control communication systems and accessories that would cost close to US$5 million.
The contract, awarded by CAAZ in 2020 through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, but the project is yet to commence.
While CHEC has a tainted history of non-delivery, blacklists and bribery reports in some countries, a senior government official has blamed the delay on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s failure to release the money required to fund the project.
Transport ministry permanent secretary Thedius Chinyanga told the Standard that the project was within the agreed time frame.
Chinyanga exonerated CHEC from blame saying the company did not “contract itself,” but was waiting for its Zimbabwean partners to fulfil their end of the bargain.
Chinyanga said the project was initially billed to commence in 2022, but expressed measured concern that the RBZ delay would negatively affect the project.
He added that CHEC had commenced the manufacture of equipment needed for the ATCCS even though it had not been paid.
More: The Standard