Harare City Council loan misuse an act of corruption

THE clandestine purchase of 50 top of the range vehicles by Harare City Council (HCC) worth over $2 million using part of the $144,4 million loan facility secured from China at a time service delivery has plummeted is deplorable.

NewsDay Editorial

Zimbabweans wonder how Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo can then defend such an act of insensitivity by public officials.

Whether the council officials who benefited from the largesse are involved in the water project or not, is neither here nor there – this is corruption at its worst, and council must be censured for this.

It is no secret that HCC has failed to provide clean water in Harare because of clandestine deals its top officials use to line up their pockets.

As a result of the poor provision of service to the majority, President Robert Mugabe recently appointed a Cabinet taskforce to deal with the critical water situation prevailing not only in Harare but across all major cities, districts and town centres.

Why HCC purchased 50 vehicles when the project reportedly required only eight is anybody’s guess.

Given that the Chinese loan is shrouded in controversy with reports that council inflated the figures to cater for “kickbacks to various” unidentified stakeholders, it is imperative an investigation be instituted into the whole loan fiasco.

The timing of vehicles scandal is a way by HCC to divert public attention from poor service delivery and justify the unjustifiable especially when it is understood that the water project required only between $80-$100 million instead of the $144,2 million that the HCC got.

It is regrettable that the vehicle scandal is happening at a time the municipality has not yet recovered from Chombo’s directive to slash all debts for urban voters to coerce them to vote for the ruling Zanu PF party during last year’s elections.

It is incumbent on HCC to explain the anxiety caused by the mix up as there is every indication that the millions of dollars extended by the Chinese are being abused rather than used for the intended purposes of paying for repairs to the capital’s water and sewage system.

One wonders whether the “misuse” of the Chinese loan was in compliant with the terms of the contract. There is also strong suspicion over the possibility of “duplication” of budget items.

It is time Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni explained this irregular purchase of the luxurious vehicles when service delivery is at its lowest ebb. Manyenyeni and town clerk Tendai Mahachi must also come clean on how many vehicles are budgeted for this year; and how many have been bought?

We urge government to institute an investigation into how the Chinese loan has been used so far to establish whether it was used for the benefit of the public or not.

Government cannot afford to ignore the extent of the rot at Town House as residents and ratepayers continue to bear the brunt of poor leadership in the capital.

18 Comments

  1. Its all rotten at the moment, and the country unfortunately is on autopilot. President Mugabe has his worries currently. Fighting corruption and governing are now secondary issues. The prospect of meeting William Ndangana, Chris Ushewokunze, Cain Nkala, those brigadiers, and indeed everyone else murdered to sustain his presidency, is just too ghastly for the President to contemplate at the moment. Unfortunately, and inevitably, that day is approaching, for damn sure. The President is realizing that after all, he is not God, he can age and die like everyone else. So were those murders really necessary in this short life time of ours? I am imagining President Mugabe meeting those guys somewhere in the stars! That will be an exciting encounter I tell you!

    1. Tarubva, you sound so confused or is it that you don’t comprehend the english language? Your comments do not even relate to the subject in discussion. go back to school, idiot.

      1. @reason… actually they do.. Tarubva makes his point eloquently at the beginning of his short monologue. You are obviously blinded by your love for the old, corrupt despot that you failed to notice as the cockroach in your head started running on it’s wheel, causing you to form thoughts filled with anger and ignorance.. You sir, are the twat who needs to go back to school. Until then, just shut up and let the big kids comment…

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      2. What is YOUR comment reason?

      3. Reason, for once, connect the dots and you will see that Tarubva’s comment is very relevant.

        In simple English he is saying Mugabe is so scared of dying that he now spends most of his time seeking specialist treatment abroad. He has no time to focus on fighting the corruption of which he is the chief architect.

        Is that simple enough for you reason?

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  2. As usual Chombo will build a firewall around the corrupt officials & nothing will be done. The only investigations they can have is on what they can loot next. Only God can save us now

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  4. ths is y zimbabwe with its current crop of leadershp will never get any line of credit.evry 1 knwos tht money will b misused n benefit a few individuals

  5. We have lost our morals, they are in the dustbins of Harare and are overflowing. I hope Morgan Tsvangirayi can read the riot act to his councillors and sell back those cars with immediate effect and we want to see every road, every street, every avenue, in high and low denisty surburbs fixed today. people of Harare we should come together and stop paying rates to these tsotsis. We would rather pay someone to fix our roads, form small committees of people of high integrity in our areas, contribute what we are supposed to pay the council, we then fix our environment with the funds. Combined Harare’ Association can you organise that. We start paying rates to Harare City council when they show seriousness.

    1. Maita, this has nothing to do with Tsvangison but all to with your whitehead Chombo and Tendai Mahachi who are secretly acquiring vehicles using a loan intended for water reticulation. we need to fire Chombo and Mahachi for this city to have a resemblance of order period.

      1. Wataura apo Gwaya chombo namahachi vanofanira kudzingwa basa vauraya harare yose fanika chombo auraya nyika yose nehuori hwake pasi naye

    2. Maita is correct and has a grand plan that is worth considering. What he is actually saying is that the councillors hand back the vehicles (which will not happen) and that instead of paying rates to the city council, the people collect this money and repair the roads and other infrastructure. I say very well thought out. CHA should start acting now!!! Please guys lets have constructive comments like Maita has done and not read politics into things..its not about politics its about greedy rotten beings with no conscience, who would rather drive around in a new Range Rover while outside the car people are dying from the dirty fluid the city council takes for water. Bypass them create your own system to run things. It will work you will see.

  6. gentlemen what is happening at town house is exactly what to experct if mdc t wins . the council made of mdc people so why havent we had tsvangirai calling them to order. he is as corrupt as them finish an klar

  7. THE LOAN WAS FOR PIPES & CHEMICALS — NOT FOR CARS
    NOW PROVIDE CLEAN WATER FOR ALL

  8. we employees we being starved and treated like slaves.imagine going for months without pay while mahachi and his colleagues are taking all the money .surely we are being treated as secondary citizens

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