BY NIZBERT MOYO
BULAWAYO residents have urged the local authority to flight fresh tenders for the Egodini Mall project following failure by the current contractor, Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited (TTPL), to complete the project within set timeframes.
The residents accused the contractor of missing its own deadlines, thus inconveniencing several informal traders displaced from the site in 2018.
TTPL was contracted to rehabilitate Egodini Mall in 2016 under a build, operate and transfer basis, and the project was earmarked to gobble US$60 million.
The contractor started work in March 2018, which forced commuter omnibuses and vendors operating at the site to relocate.
To date there is no physical structure on site although the company claims that it has done a lot of underground civil works.
Yesterday, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi told Southern Eye that residents suspected that the council chose a contractor with no capacity to handle the project.
“They must cancel the contract, re-tender and restart it. Yes, it is painful that it delays development but what can we do? We suspect that they gave the project to someone who does not have the capacity to implement it,” Sibindi said.
“We are taking the council to task because we do not know this company. If it is a genuine company, then it must be prepared to engage in public debate with residents and explain the project.”
Sibindi said the project had displaced several individuals that were surviving from informal trading at Egodini, adding that it had been eight years since the company was awarded the tender, but not much had taken place.
Addressing journalists during a tour of the project recently, Terracotta director Thulani Moyo blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the delay in completing the project.
The contractor was supposed to have completed the first phase of the project in November 2019.
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