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Tanzanian Tycoon Awarded Tender To Build New Airport Terminal

◾Taifa Mining & Civils Ltd has been awarded a TZS 29 billion construction deal

◾The costly redo comes after Mwanza regional authorities botched the project and wasted over TZS 13 billion taxpayers’ money to build a shoddy terminal building modelled on London’s Heathrow



Taifa Mining & Civils Limited, a construction company owned by Tanzanian business tycoon Rostam Azizi, has won a contract to build a new passenger terminal building at Mwanza airport.

The Class 1 civil contractor, which was formerly known as Caspian Limited, signed a deal for the project with the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) on Thursday this week.

Rostam’s company has been given 10 months to complete the work.

Taifa is best known as one of Tanzania’s largest mining contractors, specialised in site construction, contract mining and mine rehabilitation.

The company last year acquired 50% of Petra Diamonds’ stake in Tanzania’s Williamson Diamond Mine for $15 million.

Taifa has been working as mining contractor at the diamond mine for over 20 years and has also been involved in various construction projects in Tanzania

TAA Director General Mussa Mbura said Mwanza will have an international airport come September next year when construction of the terminal building is completed.

In 2019, then President John Magufuli issued controversial instructions to Mwanza regional authorities to immediately build a passenger terminal building at Mwanza airport using the force account system.

Force account is a process where construction work is carried out by a public department by using it’s personnel and equipment or in collaboration with any public or private entity.

Following the presidential instructions, Mwanza regional authorities strangely began construction of the airport building without involving the competent authority — the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA).


Construction of the terminal building has since turned out to be one of the country’s most costly do-overs.

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The project was unsurprisingly hit by cost overruns, schedule delays and design flaws as Mwanza regional authorities lacked competence in airport infrastructure construction.

The project was initially expected to cost around TZS 4 billion and be completed within 12 months

But budget spending ballooned to over TZS 13 billion, while construction work is yet to be completed 5 years down the line.

An inspection of the project by the Transport Ministry uncovered serious design flaws and sub-standard work that woefully fell short of international standards.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan intervened by ordering Mwanza authorities to hand over the airport construction project to the real experts — TAA.

Recently-appointed Mwanza Regional Commissioner Amos Makalla ridiculed the unfinished airport terminal building constructed by his predecessors by comparing it to a “supermarket” as he handed over the project to TAA.

Some members of parliament advised the government to fix the regulatory overlap and confusion on jurisdiction over airport construction, saying TAA should be given sole mandate as the competent authority in such projects across the country.

The Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) has also been issuing tenders for construction of airport terminal buildings in the country, adding more complexity to an already confusing situation.

TANROADS and some of its officials had gained an outsized influence during Magufuli’s administration, who was a former Minister for Works, by being given authority to oversee projects that were beyond their traditional mandate and jurisdiction.

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