NRZ recapitalisation: No breakthrough as board members and minister clash over DIDG deal

  • Deal cancelled because consortium failed to mobilise funds for NRZ project 
  • Government, NRZ board clashing over US$400 million deal with DIDG

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) recapitalisation programme remains uncertain with government and the NRZ board locked in dispute over the US$400 million Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) deal, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

The US$400 million deal, concluded in 2017 between the NRZ and DIDG South Africa, aimed to kick-start the first phase of NRZ revival effort.

The deal was, however, cancelled late last year under unclear circumstances when Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza alleged the consortium had failed to mobilise the funding required to implement the project.

Despite the cancellation, a source within DIDG told Zim Morning Post that the deal remained operational until the NRZ board endorsed the cancellation.

“As long as the (NRZ) board does not approve of the cancellation, then the deal is still considered operational,” said the source.

“Minutes from September 9, 2019 reveal that the board is still in support of the deal and it’s now up to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to decide whether to cancel or go ahead with it,” the source said.

Investigations carried by this publication reveal that DIDG has since written to government demanding a formal etter of cancellation of the deal so that they consider the next steps to be taken.

“There was no official communication. All we have seen are media reports and we have since asked government to communicate to us formally.”

Meanwhile, an assessment by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe has revealed that NRZ needs about US$2 billion for it to be fully operational.