Bulawayo City Council has reportedly spent $2 million of the $6, 47 million government loan facility it was allocated for rehabilitation of water and sewer infrastructure.
According to the latest council minutes, the disclosure has angered councillors and other residents, who of late have been accusing the government of marginalising the region by allocating fewer resources.
Council said the loan, administered by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), ends in March next year.
“The loan facility is valid up to March 2012 and some local authorities have exhausted their allocations,” said Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo.
“The Finance minister, Tendai Biti, is very concerned about this, hence there is need for a comprehensive report, highlighting challenges facing the City of Bulawayo in accessing the loan. The report should also be sent to Biti,” he said.
Council submits claims on behalf of suppliers and the IDBZ then deposits money directly into the companies’ bank accounts.
The local authority does not handle any cash during the transaction process.
“From March 2010 to the 31st July 2011, council has submitted claims totalling $1 877 060, 39 and these have been honoured,” the report stated.
“Council continues to submit claims as and when they are received from supplies.”
The balance of the loan is $4 592 939, 91.
IDBZ is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the projects as well as facilitating recovery of the loaned amount.