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Mayor confronts Biti

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Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo yesterday told council Finance minister Tendai Biti’s recent claims that the local authority had failed to use its $6,5 million allocation for water reticulation had tarnished the city’s image as they were untrue.

Addressing a full council meeting last night, Moyo said he would soon confront Biti demanding an explanation about his remarks when he presented the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy last month. He said the local authority had submitted a detailed report of how it disbursed the funds prior to the minister’s pronouncements in Parliament.

“Before we start, I would like to clear some issues that have come out in the Press.

“Firstly, it is the issue of the $6,5 million that we reportedly failed to use,” Moyo said.

“I want to say that is not correct. We used almost all that money save for about $400 000 which is already committed.

“The money that is left is zero, we are even seeking to apply for a loan to complete some projects.

“A report on the expenditure of that $6,5 million was sent to Biti before his announcement of the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy.

“I will be seeing the minister when I travel to Harare soon. If the report got to the office, we will make a lot of noise.”

Moyo added: “When Harare City Council was given the money, it was deposited into their account, but we had to tender. With that I think we did a good job.”

Bulawayo is facing a critical water shortage and government has been accused of failing to invest in alternative sources since independence.

The arid Matabeleland region has now pinned its hope on the completion of the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, a 100-year-old scheme to tap water from the Zambezi River.

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