via $144m loan abuse probe complete, Hre 01 July 2014
INVESTIGATIONS into allegations of abuse of part of the $144 million loan sourced from China to rehabilitate water infrastructure have been completed by a team of consultants, Harare City Council mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said on Tuesday.
In May, Manyenyeni said the council had spent $8 million of the loan facility granted by the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation to buy 25 luxury vehicles without going to tender, leading to the probe.
“I am expecting the report (Wednesday). I have avoided interfering with that process save for just checking on progress. I am assured I will have something to look at tomorrow,” Manyenyeni told the parliamentary committee on local government.
“We would want to know the supplier of those vehicles, where were those vehicles procured from and is that person registered by the State Procurement Board and were tender procedures followed?” Maondera queried.
“There is no transparency in this whole deal. It looks like a negotiation between the ministry of local government and Chinese Exim Bank with you (Manyenyeni) given little or no information at all.”
Manyenyeni maintained that he would only comment on the matter after the report had been released and blamed the minister of local government, Ignatius Chombo for lack of support and pre-empting the probe through press conferences.
“It’s unfortunate that when something like this happens, the minister proceeds to do a press conference and gives an outcome,” the mayor said.
“We should cascade towards the minister – something done on the ground comes to councillors and we take it up to the minister. When you are doing something you don’t expect the minister to be coming up with an outcome within days of the probe only commencing,” he said.
However, he said the announcement by the minister would not impact on the probe in any material way.
Harare has been battling with water challenges due to antiquated equipment, lack of financial resources to purchase chemicals with most suburbs going for years without tap water.