Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has pledged to assist Harare City Council secure a $145m loan facility from China Eximbank when he travels to the Asian country next week.
Chombo’s delegation, comprising Harare and Bulawayo mayors Muchadeyi Masunda and Thaba Moyo respectively and a host of council officials, is expected to attend the 6th Annual City Development Conference in Chongqing, China.
“We wrote supporting letters last year and we are behind the city’s success in the deal. We continue to support our cities. I am sure since the PM (Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai) is there together with Minister Nkomo (Water Resources) they will hopefully sign an agreement,” Chombo said.
Council’s $145 million loan bid hit a brick wall recently after Eximbank introduced stringent requirements.
Tsvangirai on Monday met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao where he pledged that government would work towards clearing its arrears in order to unlock further development assistance.
Among other projects that need Chinese assistance were Kariba Hydro Power station, Hwange 7 & 8 Thermal Power Station, rehabilitation of Harare City Council water and sewerage systems and the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project.
Masunda confirmed he was heading to China to discuss urban planning and development, infrastructure development and financing, city investments and real estate.