via Part of Chinese loan to Harare goes missing – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 8, 2015 by Moses Matenga
HARARE mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has alleged $3 million is missing from the $144 million Chinese loan extended for the refurbishment of Morton Jaffray waterworks, saying investigations should be carried out to determine how the money disappeared.
This came as the Chinese company refurbishing the plant complained to Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere that out of the $144 million, they had only been given $72 million, slowing progress of the project.
Speaking during Kasukuwere’s familiarisation tour of Morton Jaffray yesterday, Manyenyeni said contractors were given $69 million, hence the need to account for the remaining $3 million.
He argued that the amount pumped into the project and work on the ground were not tallying.
“Three million dollars is a big gap and we will sit and see where the difference is. We will also see what can be done to have the remainder released,” Manyenyeni said.
“They are saying $69 million is for preliminary work, but it’s too much to be dubbed preliminary work.”
A project official representing Chinese contractors Cao Yang said he had received $72 million and was waiting for the remainder to fast track the project.
“I have received only $72 million, that is 50%, and the procedure is that council is supposed to push the Ministry of Finance to have the funds released, but since 2013, l have not received anything,” he said.
“The project is 42% complete. In October, all the major equipment will be shipped and by end of year, all things will be in place.”
Manyenyeni, however, argued that the attribution of $69 million to “preliminary work” was not justifiable and proposed a meeting with the Chinese to discuss the matter.
Kasukuwere said a lot of work had been done given that a lot of suburbs now had water regularly.
“Quite a lot of progress has been made. Some suburbs that had not received water for some time are receiving water now,” Kasukuwere said.
The $144 million deal has been a subject of controversy with reports of inflating of prices and abuse of funds by council management led by suspended town clerk Tendai Mahachi.
The managers bought themselves luxury cars worth millions of dollars.