BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport,, Oscar Gorerino, yesterday expressed concern that a Chinese company, Jiangsu, which is refurbishing and expanding the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, has not employed local engineers in the project.
Speaking after touring the airport with members of the committee, Gorerino quizzed the project officials over the non-employment of locals.
“You did Victoria Falls Airport for about three years and our government trusted you to teach some of our people the skills required in the expansion of the airport,” he said.
“You cannot be doing a project here at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport without having a Zimbabwean component as part of your engineers.
Basically, this means you do not want people to learn, but you just want to benefit yourselves.”
Responding to the concerns, head administrator of the expansion project at the airport, Wang Xiao Xiao, said they had local engineers working in the laboratory testing the materials being used in the refurbishment and expansion project.
“We are taking baby steps in teaching some of the Zimbabweans. The project has some local engineers in the lab that test the quality of the materials that we are using and other tests as well,” Xiao said.
He also said language barrier also slowed the process of imparting skills, an argument Gorerino dismissed, stating that the programme should start promoting teaching the Chinese language to Zimbabweans.
The project is currently 8% complete amid concerns that delays in releasing funds might delay the expansion beyond 2021.