MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti has claimed that the 2021 budget presented by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube last week allocated a lot of money towards Beitbridge road rehabilitation because the companies involved are connected to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa’s has been investing resources to ensure the road, which is key to the North-South Corridor that links South Africa, Africa’s second-biggest economy, links with the rest of the continent.
Five companies, Tensor Systems, Masimba Construction, Fossil Contractors, Exodus and Company, and Bitumen World are believed to have been awarded the tender.
Ncube last week presented the 2021 budget which allocated more money to the Beitbridge road rehabilitation, in terms of allocations directed to infrastructure development.
Speaking during a zoom meeting with Open Parly, on Wednesday, the former Finance minister said the five awarded the tender, including Zim Borders were linked to Mnangagwa.
“Look at who is doing it, a company called Zim Borders. Who chairs Zim Borders, an ally of Mnangagwa called Glenn D. Cohen, the owner of GDC. Mafia, this thing did not go to tender, there was no competitive bidding so Mnangagwa is just using the state to loot resources.
“Look at the Beitbridge road, five companies connected to Mnangagwa are busy constructing that road. The contract did not go to tender, no one knows the costing, it is being kept away from the public.
“I can tell you, on average a road costs USD$1 million for a kilometer. I can tell you Beitbridge rehabilitation is probably costing taxpayers around USD$ 5 to 6 million per kilometer because of the corruption of the so-called new dispensation.
“To answer you specifically on infrastructure, the budget made paltry allocation to infrastructure and the paltry allocations are done for patronage. So Beitbridge got a lot of money because the five companies that are doing roads are connected to Mthuli and his friends,” Biti said.
Last week, Mnangagwa’s administration commissioned the first 100km of the rehabilitated and upgraded Harare-Beitbridge highway.