The government is opening up to new investors for the recapitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) following the scrapping of the exclusivity clause with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet Consortium.
Financial closure of the $400 million investment deal was expected by July last year, but until the expiry of the framework of agreement between DIDG and government in February this year, the pace to unlocking the committed funds had progressed slowly as negotiations continued.
In a wide ranging interview with ZBC News, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Honourable Joel Biggie Matiza explained government’s position on the DIDG deal, confirming that they had removed the exclusivity clause.
“As government, we have removed the exclusivity clause on the DIDG deal after the realistaion that the pace to unlocking the committed funds towards the project is very slow. This therefore means we have opened up to new investors to revive the ailing parastatal, NRZ,” he said.
Experts say government may be forced to reconsider or play a balancing act between searching for new investors or running with their identified investor who has already shown commitment by leasing out some equipment that include 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 coaches.