UAE company wins controversial R122m airport tender in Zanzibar | News24

Emirates Airline, Boeing 777-300ER airplane is seen touchdown at El Prat Airport. (Photo by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket by way of Getty Images)

  • An aviation firm was allegedly handpicked with out going to tender and did not have a licence for floor dealing with providers in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
  • Dnata was added as third agency for dealing with providers when, by regulation, solely two firms ought to accomplish that.
  • The opposition in Tanzania urged the federal government to make particulars of the contract public.

Dnata, a subsidiary of the sprawling Emirates Group conglomerate, has been rocked by controversy in Zanzibar, Tanzania, after it emerged that officers flouted a sequence of aviation laws in an effort to award the corporate a $7-million (about R122 million) aviation tender.

In November final yr, Dnata signed a contract with authorities in Zanzibar to supply floor dealing with providers on the newly constructed terminal three of the Abeid Amani Kurume International Airport.

As a part of the contract, two different Emirates subsidiaries, Emirates Leisure Retail and MMI will function all 13 retail amenities and two lounges within the terminal.

The amenities embrace eating places, in addition to duty-free and business shops. 

An investigation by News24 has established that Dnata’s contract flouted a sequence of civil aviation laws in that:

  • It gave the corporate unique rights to function floor dealing with providers and retail amenities;
  • At the time of the signing of the contract, the Tanzania Civil Aviation (TCAA) laws didn’t permit greater than two firms to ship floor dealing with providers on the airport;
  • When the contract was signed, there have been two firms working floor dealing with providers on the airport;
  • Officials handpicked Dnata with out following any tender course of;
  • When the corporate was appointed, 35% of its shares weren’t owned by Tanzanians;
  • Dnata additionally didn’t have a licence to run floor dealing with providers.
  • The TCAA’s laws require that, earlier than an organization tenders for a floor dealing with contract, it ought to be licenced to work as a floor dealing with service supplier.

When the contract was signed in November, Dnata issued a press release saying the corporate was increasing into Africa.

In a press assertion, the corporate mentioned on the time: 

Under the partnership, Dnata will oversee the operations of Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport’s (ZNZ) newly-built worldwide terminal (T3), with SEGAP supporting the Zanzibar Airports Authority (ZAA) in a administration capability. Emirates Leisure Retail will accomplice with MMI as grasp concessionaire for all meals and beverage, duty-free and business shops at T3.

The firm’s vice chairman, Steve Allen, on the time mentioned: “We are thrilled to expand our global footprint into Africa and establish operations at the airport of Zanzibar. We are confident that our investment in the local aviation industry will stimulate tourism and trade, delivering significant benefits for Zanzibar businesses and the local community.”

Dnata has since registered a neighborhood Zanzibari subsidiary, Dnata Zanzibar Aviation Services. The firm, registered on the finish of January, was earlier this month granted a licence to function floor dealing with providers.

Dnata didn’t reply to questions on the way it was awarded an unique contract, with out tender processes, to run floor dealing with operations and retail amenities on the airport.

Instead, the corporate commented on Dnata Zanzibar Aviation Services’ licencing to run floor dealing with operations. 

In an emailed response, the corporate instructed News24:

The Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has awarded Dnata Zanzibar the required working licence for the ramp, passenger and cargo warehousing providers at ‘Class II’ airports within the Republic of Tanzania, reminiscent of Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport’s (ZNZ) newly-built worldwide terminal (Terminal 3), following Dnata Zanzibar’s compliance with relevant authorized necessities.

“Dnata Zanzibar has followed the established process and related regulations issued by TCAA and Zanzibar Airport Authority (ZAA) applicable to the ground handling concession and corresponding license. Dnata Zanzibar has also fulfilled all prerequisite safety requirements to consistently run high-quality and safe operations at ZNZ.

“Dnata Zanzibar will proceed to work carefully with the authorities and different related stakeholders to make sure continued full compliance with all relevant legal guidelines and laws in all facets of its floor dealing with operations and providers. Dnata Zanzibar floor dealing with operations are totally different from these operations of Emirates Leisure Retail (ELR) and MMI associated to meals and beverage, duty-free and business shops at Terminal 3 at ZNZ.”

‘It cannot piggyback’

However, TCAA director-general Hamza Johari told News24 that Dnata had never been granted a licence in Tanzania. 

“Dnata UAE has by no means been granted any licence to function in Tanzania. It’s not true that Dnata UAE has been given an unique contract to function as a result of that firm has no licence, so it isn’t potential.

“Dnata Zanzibar is the one which applied for a licence recently, and was granted on 2 June 2022. The next step is for Dnata Zanzibar to go through a concessioning process with the Zanzibar Airport Authority (ZAA). You have to have a licence first, then the concession follows,” he mentioned.

Only regionally registered firms qualify for a license to commerce as a floor dealing with service supplier.

Dnata Zanzibar, Johari mentioned, had met all the necessities to be licenced as a floor dealing with service supplier.

Ismail Jussa, a member of the central committee of the Alliance for Change and Transparency – an opposition social gathering in Tanzania – mentioned the settlement between Dnata UAE and the federal government of Zanzibar was suspicious. 

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“There are so many unanswered questions. Why did the contract not go to tender? Why was Dnata UAE given an exclusive contract when regulations are against it? Why was Dnata UAE given the concession to run ground handling services when they don’t have a licence to work as ground handling operators?” he queried.

Jussa mentioned Dnata couldn’t use Dnata Zanzibar Aviation Services’ licence to run floor dealing with providers as the businesses had been two separate authorized entities.

Dnata Zanzibar Aviation Services needed to go search for a floor dealing with contract of its personal, he mentioned. 

“It cannot piggyback on Dnata’s illegal contract, as the two are different legal entities registered in two different countries. We urge the government of Zanzibar to tell us what’s going on here.”

A neighborhood businessman, who didn’t need to be quoted for concern of reprisals, mentioned Dnata Zanzibar Aviation Services mustn’t have been granted an working licence, as 35% of the corporate’s shares weren’t wholly owned by Tanzanians.

Tanzanian firm registration paperwork seen by News24 present that an organization known as Maxima Corporation Limited owned 35% shares in Dnata Zanzibar.

However, Maxima’s shares will not be wholly owned by Tanzanians. Four % of the corporate’s shares belong to an Indian citizen, Sufiyan Aiyub Hafej.

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