BY XOLISANI NCUBE
THE Harare City Council has engaged a local financial institution for a ZWL$20 million bailout despite Auditor-General Mildred Chasi castigating the local authority for borrowing without ministerial authority.
Minutes of the finance committee tabled at the recent full council meeting show that councillors approved that the acting city treasurer, Stanley Ndemera and mayor Herbert Gomba engage
FBC Bank for a ZWL$10 million overdraft to fund operation expenses and another ZWL$10 million loan for capital projects.
“After deliberations, the committee noted the urgency of that matter and resolved that, subject to the approval of his worship the mayor, in terms of paragraph 5 of council standing
resolution part (1) and (2), council accepts an overdraft facility amounting to ZWL$10 million offered by FBC Bank repayable up to May 31, 2020 at an interest of 12% per annum, once
off flat establishment fee of 1% and management fee of 1% and a lease finance facility of ZWL$10 million,” part of the minutes read.
Council has been struggling to pay its workers and provide quality services due to low revenue as well as a volatile economic situation.
The ZWL$10 million lease facility, according to minutes, would be for acquisition of working capital, while the overdraft would be for operating expenditure of the council, raising
fears that the money would be used for salaries.
The local authority has a salary backlog of seven months.
Meanwhile, Harare has agreed to splash US$113 040 for the purchase of a top-of-the-range vehicle for its director of works as part of his condition of service.
Minutes from the finance committee state that a supplementary budget was tabled in the committee for approval because the director was using a pool car.
“It is resolved to recommend that a supplementary budget of US$113 040 for the purchase of an appropriate vehicle for the director of works as per condition of service,” the minutes further read in part.