The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has identified a company that will do the new signage at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (JMN) International Airport in Bulawayo, CITE has established.
The winning bidder is yet to do a consultative process for the design before installing it.
This development comes after the government took down the Ndebele cultural shield from the JMN airport signage and replaced it with the government’s Coat of Arms emblem without notifying all the stakeholders leading to spirited protests from people in Matabeleland who were unhappy with that move.
After the matter gained ground, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona, released a statement apologising for the “hasty” removal of the signage and said the ministry had flighted tender advertisements for new signage that incorporated stakeholders’ concerns.
In an interview with CITE, Airports Company of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (ACZ) Chief Executive Officer, Tawanda Gusha confirmed that a tender had been awarded to a winning bidder last week.
“We are supposed to be in negotiations with the winning bidder who will do both the design and consultative process before the installation of the signage. PRAZ awarded the tender on Thursday last week and I received the letter from PRAZ on Monday,” he said.
ACZ had floated an advert for the Supply, Delivery and Installation of Airport Signage: Tender No. ACZ/LOCAL/WKS/2022 in the Government Gazette on February 25, 2022, The Sunday Mail and The Sunday News on February 27, 2022.
However, in an initial interview with this publication, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Department of Roads Chief Director, Engineer Amos Amos, said the tender advertisements had been put out in May.
“A record of 47 prospective bidders requested to be availed with the bidding document. 16 prospective bidders attended a compulsory site visit. The Tender closed on 29 April 2022 at 100:00 hours and only two bidders submitted their bids on time. There was one late submission that was rejected,” the ACZ CEO stated.
However, the ACZ CEO could not reveal the owners of the winning bidder, saying “notification of tender outcome to the successful bidder and unsuccessful bidders is still in progress.”
Gusha said the selection of the qualifying bidder was in line with the eligibility and qualification criteria and the technical criteria stipulated in the bidding document.
“ACZ’s evaluation report was submitted for review by the Special Procurement Oversight Committee (SPOC). The award was approved through SPOC RESOLUTION 0657 of 07 July 2022,” he said.
Gusha also could not state more on the company’s base saying there were procedures to be done before disclosing such.
“Disclosing of the company details can only be done after 15 days stipulated by the law to accommodate other bidders who might want to contest the tender outcome,” he said.
Work on the new JMN signage was scheduled to start on April 1, 2022, for a period of three months, Gusha said, of which looking at timelines, they are behind schedule.
“We intend to start work as soon as possible but after the bidder accepts the offer and the contract signing,” said the ACZ CEO.
“The scheduled timeline is three months. However, the actual period will be ascertained during negotiations of terms and conditions and successful contract signing.”
Gusha said the rebranding of the JMN International Airport is in line with ACZ’s vision, mission and infrastructural development plan which is to meet the aviation international standards.
Reached for comment, Engineer Amos from the transport ministry, said the tender processes were handled directly by the ACZ.