THE Zimbabwe United Passenger Company has started taking delivery of 40 Isuzu conventional buses from Kenya’s General Motors East Africa at a total cost of $16,9 billion.
The first batch of 11 buses is expected in the country on December 28 with another delivery of up to 30 vehicles expected between next month and February.
It is the second time Zupco has purchased buses from General Motors. Earlier this year, the passenger company took delivery of 100 Isuzu minibuses with a capacity of 33 passengers from the Kenyan company.
The passenger company has made several bids to acquire 250 new buses this year but failed to raise more than $150 billion demanded by three companies awarded the tender.
It also awarded yet another tender in November for the supply of 150 conventional buses to replenish Zupco’s heavily depleted fleet to four companies — Scania SA (30), W Damher (40), Pioneer Motor Corporation (40) and Gift Investments (40).
The government tender board, which receives tenders on behalf of procuring government departments, has invited Scania South Africa and DaimlerChrysler to participate in the 150 conventional-bus tender.
For the 250-bus tender awarded in August, most of the $150 billion would be paid to foreign suppliers in hard currency for body kits and components.
The three companies — Deven Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, W Dahmer and Zimbabwe Motor Distributors (Pvt) Ltd, were awarded the tender by the state procurement board to supply the buses.
Deven and ZMD were to supply 40 Mercedes Benz 1722 model buses apiece, each costing $644 million and $590 million respectively while W Dahmer would supply 170 Scania F94 buses at $610 451 050 each.
The three companies that were awarded the tender asked to be paid between 50% and 80% upfront, which Zupco has failed to raise.
It is now feared the local companies might not meet the deadline for the supply of the buses. At least 150 buses were to be delivered by September 30 and the remaining 100 by December 31.
The supply by General Motors is in line with Zupco procurement committee’s recommendations. The committee had unanimously agreed to award the tender to Gift Investments, importing from General Motors. — Staff Writer.