OWNED by an ally of Zimbabwean tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a target of United States sanctions, the Fossil Group has won more than 15 public works contracts since June, more than many of its rivals.
A Zimbabwean government list released on November 26 revealed the names of companies that have received public works contracts since June.
Among the companies that have won the most contracts is Fossil Contracting, the construction branch of the Fossil Group, owned by businessman Obey Chimuka.
Chimuka is a close associate of tycoon Tagwirei, an adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chimuka is a long-time business partner of Tagwirei’s mining investments, having served on the board of the mining holding company Landela Investments.
Since June this year, the Fossil Group has been awarded more than 15 contracts, collectively worth almost US$45 million, by the Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry.
The bulk of the contracts are for the construction of roads and highways, which include roads serving the historic Alaska copper mine northwest of Harare.
This mine is being reopened under the name of Grand Sanyuan Copper Resources after a Chinese investor put in US$12m to co-own the mine with the State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
In addition to these contracts, Chimuka’s group has also been awarded the construction of new access roads and military parade areas at the barracks housing the headquarters of the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe in Harare.
In August last year, the US placed Tagwirei and his firm Sakunda Holdings under sanctions over his support for the Zimbabwe government.
The US also said Sakunda was involved in what it says is unaccounted for US$3 billion allocated under the Command Agriculture programme. — Africa Confidential