Row rages as firm denies role in housing project

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CHINESE State owned firm, China Railway 15 Bureau Group Corporation, has maintained its position of disassociating itself in taking part in the project for construction of 10,000 houses countrywide for Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) staff.

The Representative of the company in Tanzania, Ms Su Jinlan, told the ‘Daily News’ over the weekend that initially the company had expressed interest in executing the project, but subsequently lost interest and did not make any follow up.

Ms Su Jinlan answered in the negative when asked whether there was any tender for the project and whether the Chinese Company, MCC20, which reportedly executed the contract, had also participated in the tendering process.

“Essentially, we really don’t know if there was any tender floated or not. We don’t know MCC20 and we didn’t take part in the tendering process or execution of the project,” she said in response to claims by a local consulting company, St. Martin Co. Limited, that her company was hiding behind MCC20.

The company’s representative further refuted claims by St. Martin Co. Limited, saying, “China Railway 15th Bureau Group Corporation didn’t take part in the tendering process because the project did not take off due to lack of funds since 2009 and thereafter CR15G lost interest of the project.”

St. Martin Co. Limited has been pushing for payments of about 70bn/- to be paid by China Railway 15th Bureau Group Corporation, as consultancy fees following the implementation of the project in question, alleging that the Chinese Company had been executing the project under the mask of MCC20.

However, Ms Su Jinlan hit back, saying that there was no binding agreement whatsoever between CR15G, St Martin Co. Ltd and Ministry of Defence and National Service save for only agreed minutes signed by the parties at the preliminary stage of negotiations.

Mzizima Law Associates Advocates, lawyers for the Chinese firm, said in a letter of intention to take St. Martin Co. Limited to court, that the allegation and unjustifiable claims to their client were malicious aimed at injuring the reputation of the company.

“Our instruction is to take your company to court of law to sue you for defamation and other related offences of which you shall be liable to pay a compensation of 5bn/- to our client,” reads part of the letter dated July 20, 2017, signed by advocate Franco Mahena from the law firm.

They maintained that their client had categorically denied to have carried out works for the construction of military houses or involved in any way in the execution of the alleged project and advised St. Martin Co. Limited to liaise with the Ministry of Finance and that of Defence to have clarification on the matter.

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