Caaz seeks fuel supplier

HARARE - The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) is seeking to engage companies able to supply aviation fuel to airlines covering Harare, Joshua Nkomo and Victoria Falls International airports.

In a general notice 438 of 2014 within the 64th government gazette, Caaz through the State Procurement Board (SPB) wants “lease and concession agreement for aviation fuel supply to airlines...”

However, efforts to get a comment from the authority’s general manager David Chawota were fruitless as he was said to be outside the country.

Caaz, which is mandated to develop civil aviation and promote its safe, regular and efficient use inside and outside Zimbabwe, also provides air navigation services as well as regulating the aviation industry and facilitating the provision of air services among others.

This latest development comes as the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda’s son, Donald, was in July implicated in a botched 1,7 million-litre diesel tender for the refurbishment of Victoria Falls International Airport being carried out by a Chinese contractor, China Jiangsu International EEC.

Donald at the time confirmed his involvement in the deal adding that there were some logistical issues that needed to be addressed by the fuel supplier, Strauss Logistics.

“I am aware of the deal and I can confirm that basically I facilitated everything between the Chinese and the local suppliers,” Donald said.

He added: “Initially, Zuva Petroleum was supplying the fuel before it changed hands to Strauss Logistics.”

Donald noted that he played a significant role in facilitating the deal two years ago when his father was still chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) which handled the tender.

China Jiangsu International EEC general manager Zhang Xin Bin has since written to Transport minister Obert Mpofu seeking his intervention to have the fuel delivered.

In the letter dated March 27, 2014, Zhang said: “Up to June 7, 2013, we paid the former supplier to purchase 1,7 million litres, but they failed to supply the diesel to the Victoria Falls Airport Project properly.

“The balance is 750 000 litres and after a long time of negotiations they still can’t supply the balance.”

Zhang requested the Energy minister to assist them to get a waiver on paying duty to import the fuel for the project.

The delays have had an impact on the completion of the project that was meant to be a legacy of the World Tourism Organisation General Assembly held last year.

Projections are that the project will now be concluded by December 2015.

The expansion work funded by China Exim Bank includes upgrading the domestic terminal building, constructing a new four kilometre runway, constructing a new fire station, control tower and installation of state–of–the-art aviation equipment.

 

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