…pins hope on new IDBZ deal
MASVINGO – In 2015, the then Masvingo Mayor; Hubert Fidze signed a US$75 million loan deal with a Chinese firm, in an effort to improve the city’s service delivery in the wake of an increasing population and sprouting suburbs.
The deal was supposed to cater for the water argumentation and the waste collection project which has for so many years surpassed its maximum capacity.
At least US$60 million of the deal was supposed to be secured and channeled towards improving the city’s pumping capacity while the remainder would be used for other service delivery related issues.
However, five years down the line, the deal has not materialized with the City Council recently entering yet another USD9 million deal with the Infrustructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) towards the same project.
The deal with IDBZ is expected to double the pumping capacity of water from 30 mega liters to 60 mega liters.
“The project is expected to cost US$9 million and will involve rehabilitation of current water supply facilities. The aim of the project is to double current water pumping and conveyance infrastructure to solve current water shortages in the region. The project is at the feasibility stage and expected implementation is 6 months,” wrote IDBZ on their website.
Contacted for comment, Acting Town clerk, Eng Edward Mukaratirwa confirmed that the Chinese deal had failed to reap fruit and said the new IDBZ deal is now their focus.
“We had done all the paperwork as a local authority but the deal stalled on the part of the government because they were supposed to give a guarantee to China.
“However, we had a meeting with IDBZ before the lockdown so there were some issues which we agreed they should work on while we also work on our side but due to the lockdown their office is not yet open. The IDBZ deal isn’t limited to one institution unlike the Chinese deal which focused on one firm,” said Mukaratirwa.
The local authority is currently in bad blood with residents who woke up to an estimated 700% rates hike amid continued poor service delivery.
Council is also accused of concealing information on how the assisting partners would benefit, a development that has affected transparency over ratepayer’s money.