Mozambique paid to cancel Maputo high speed tram system

Mozambique paid US$6.5-million to not build a modern high speed tram system for Maputo and Matola. @Verdade recently revealed that the payment was buried in the report of the Administrative Tribunal on the government accounts for 2015. In 2010, without any discussion or public tender, then minister of transport and communications, Paulo Zucula, apparently agreed with the Italian company SALCEF Costruzioni Edili e Ferroviarie to do a feasibility study and then build the tram system. The government of Armando Guebuza then cancelled the contract. SALCEF objected and the case went to arbitration, and SALCEF was awarded compensation of

US$6.5-million, which was paid by the railways company, CFM.

The tram system probably would have been prohibitively expensive, so Maputo moved forward with a sensible bus rapid transit (BRT) system. After the preliminary work was completed, that, too was cancelled – because it would have required a government-guarantee for the loan, which was impossible after the secret debt crisis, and because it would have been built by Odebrecht which has been caught in a massive bribery scandal (including for winning the Nacala Airport contract).

So Maputo citizens continue to commute by crowded minibuses (“chapas”) or by standing in the back of open lorries (known as “my loves” in English).

Source: Mozambique News Reports & Clippings

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