Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
State-owned logistics firm Road Motor Services (RMS) has invited interested investors to submit financial proposals to lease and develop approximately 10 000 square metres of cargo handling and storage space at Zimbabwe’s dry port at Walvis Bay in Namibia.

RMS, which is a subsidiary of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has been spearheading the construction of the port in partnership with Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and the Namibian Port Authority.

In September 2009 the Namibian government granted Zimbabwe 19 000 square metres of land to construct a dry port that is expected to boost the country’s trade with the world, but the project has failed to take off due to financial constraints.

Government has now invited financial proposals for the lease of space at the dry port, which is Zimbabwe’s potential link to the Americas and Western Europe through the Atlantic Ocean.

“RMS is requesting for financial proposals for the lease of approximately 10 000m2 of cargo handling and storage space available at the Zimbabwe dry port facility of Walvis Bay in Namibia.

“The lease shall run for an initial period of 10 years commencing from the date of the lease agreement subject to further negotiations for lease extension,” said RMS managing director Cosmos Mutakaya.

Zimbabwe’s trade volumes through the Port of Walvis Bay have grown significantly over the years to more than 2 500 tonnes a month.

The invitation by RMS comes after Government in 2015 announced its intention to partner the private sector in the constructing the dry port facility under a public-private partnership arrangement.

There are also two other choices for transport corridors; the Trans-Kalahari and Trans-Caprivi corridors.

Both corridors are currently road-based, but the proposed new Trans-Kalahari railway from Botswana to Namibia could extend to Zimbabwe through Bulawayo.

Mozambique has also partnered Zimbabwe and Botswana for a short rail line project linking its western coalfields with the country’s new deep-water port in southern Mozambique.

The initial deal involved linking Mozambique to Botswana and South Africa to the south, Namibia to the west, Zambia and Angola to the northwest, and Zimbabwe to the north, making it a prime network for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

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