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Harare seeks bond for collapsing infrastructure


HARARE City Council is planning to raid the bond market in a bid to raise money to improve its dilapidated infrastructure.


Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni

The move comes after the city’s successful presentation of up-to-date audited financial statements for the first time in decades, according to mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni.

Manyenyeni said the city was eyeing the municipal bond market. A municipal bond is a debt security issued by a State, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures, including the construction of highways, bridges or schools. Harare had gone for over six years without audited financials before the completion of the 2015 audit.

“Last month, we signed off our 2015 audited accounts. For the first time in 20 years, we are up to date after clearing six overdue audits in two years. I was the only person, who believed this was indeed a champagne-popping event,” he said.

The absence of audited statements was an impediment to the city’s efforts to access loans, according to Manyenyeni.
“Having audited statements gives us an opportunity to start thinking of new ways of raising funds for capital expenditure and we have activated some negotiations already,” he said.

The process, however, is fraught with many challenges as Zimbabwe is currently regarded as a risky investment destination by many investors.

Many investors especially foreigners are sceptical to invest in countries, where it is difficult to repatriate profits to their home countries.

Zimbabwe is currently facing a severe foreign currency and general cash squeeze that has forced the financial regulatory authorities to draw up a list of priority payments that can be made.

Harare over the past year has been selling some of its prime properties and stands to raise capital to pay outstanding salary arrears to over 9 000 council employees.

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