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Afrexim Bank USD 144m loan to City of Harare: Where is our money
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
February 08, 2012

Last year Councilor Friday Muleya in his budget statement for the 2012 financial year pointed out that the City of Harare had received USD 144million from Afrexim bank in China. This money was meant to resuscitate aging water and sewer infrastructure. A Council resolution was passed approving access and loan conditions. However, the Association remains stunned as to whether this money has been put to good use at all considering that residents continue to bear the brunt of the effects of communicable diseases such as typhoid in which 1 300 cases have so far been recorded. The current scenario that we find ourselves in, raises a lot of dust as to whether funds in the local authority are being put to good use or maybe City of Harare has now turned into a feeding trough for corruption purposes.

Discourse around the causes of communicable diseases has always bordered around issues to do with water infrastructure, availability of resources and lack of civic education amongst residents but CHRA maintains that we cannot ignore the issue of bad governance at both local and national level. Revenue which has been received at both levels of government has not been audited which makes it very difficult for public officials to account to the general citizenry; hence public budget tracking becomes a very difficult phenomenon. We reiterate our call on the need to have audits for 2009 and 2010 financial year but C.o.H has been very reluctant. It was only during the 2012 budget presentation that the finance committee reported that the 2008 audit was almost about to be finished which however might not bear any significance because the country was using the Zimbabwean dollar. Section 304 [1] of the Urban Councils Act states that on or before the commencement of each financial year, council shall appoint an auditor registered as a public auditor to come and audit books of the previous financial year. However there has been a major setback which can simply be expressed as lack of compliance on the part of council. There is no reasonable argument that can justify one's failure to account for funds received from or on behalf of the public.

To that end, CHRA demands the following:

  • That the Finance Committee furnish the public on the progress of expenditure on the USD 144 million received from Afrexim bank. Council should give quarterly feedback on the use of this fund and the extent to which progress is being made to achieve sufficient water resources.
  • Communicate with Harare residents on the payment plan/ loan conditions of this support because it is residents' money that will go towards the servicing of that loan.
  • Speedy workout on the 2009 and 2010 audit reports before the end of 2012.

Visit the CHRA fact sheet

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