By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Business |
British-based Coven Energy, the company that signed a US$1,3 billion joint venture agreement with Zimbabwe to develop a fuel pipeline from the Mozambican port city of Beira to the capital city Harare is allegedly using a fake business address and was only formed last year.
Addressing journalists at a post cabinet briefing in Harare on Wednesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the pipeline was meant to complement the existing one that also links Harare and Beira and make the country a fuel hub for the southern Africa region.
“The pipeline will be built over four years at an estimated cost of US$1.3 billion. The partnership will be for a period of 30 years,” she said.
But investigations by agencies noted that the company that won the tender was only formed one year ago and the subsidiary was formed four months ago.
Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said the address that the company uses is actually a block of flats in London and its subsidiary in South Africa was formed four months ago.
“The UK company that won the US$1,3 billion tender to build the Beira fuel pipeline for Zimbabwe uses an address that is a block of flats in London, just like the bogus Drax International did last year! 1 Bolinder Grove SW6 is a block of flats in South West London,” Chin’ono said.
He added: “Last month Mnangagwa’s regime said the Beira fuel pipeline will cost US$850 million. Today it says it will cost US$1,3 billion. The UK company given the tender was only formed last year.
Its South African subsidiary was formed 4 months ago. It is Drax all over again! Will the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission act?”
Drax International was shadowy company that was illegally awarded a multi- million dollar contract for COVID-19 testing kits, drugs and personal protective equipment by former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo who was eventually fired after public pressure.
Moyo was arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office over the awarding of the $60m (£47m) contract to Drax who allegedly sold supplies to the government at inflated prices.
A representative of Drax, controversial businessman Delish Nguwaya, is facing charges in connection with the contract. He was arrested and then released on bail.
Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said Coven Energy would form a 50-50 joint venture company with state-owned National Oil and Infrastructure Company. Nehanda Radio