In a story headlined “Kuriftu Ceases Catering at Ethio-Djibouti Railway” [Volume 18, Number 927, February 4, 2018] it was reported that Kuriftu Resorts has withdrawn its catering services for passengers of the Ethio- Djibouti Railway (EDR) after a month-long service.
Tilahu Srka, director general of EDR, was quoted in the story saying, “we ordered them to halt the service as they started it without following the proper procurement procedure of the country.”
This is disappointing and we find it imperative to explain our position in regards to how we started the service.
In June 2017, higher officials of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) made an oral request for us to start serving without any set preconditions, contract or a bid out of urgency mentioning the train would begin in October 2017.
However, to be on the right track, we submitted a proposal to provide train catering services on June 19, 2017, indicating we were interested and ready to provide such services. It would have given our company a great sense of national pride and would have been the first of its kind in the country.
This being the case, we did not deliver the service in October, as we were not invited to finalise any sort of catering deal. After six months, on December 27, 2017, we received a phone call from Zhao Yue, Commercial Manager of CCECC-CREC Joint Venture, urging us to cater on January 1, 2018, within three days of the official launch.
Even though it was a very short notice, understanding the urgency of the situation, we delivered the service as requested and continued to do the same until January 28, 2018. We ceased operations as soon as we received a letter from Ray Hu, marketing manager of CCECC-CREC JV, to stop catering as of January 29, 2018.
Thus, we would like to clarify that the process Kuriftu Resorts has gone through to provide catering services at Ethio-Djibouti Railway is as explained above and we are ready to serve on the train once a formal catering procedure is announced by the Ethio-Djibouti Railway management.
Tadiwos Getachew, CEO of Boston Partners Plc