City bosses divert loan cash to cars…• 25 luxury vehicles bought • Funds meant for water, sewage

Mr Manyenyeni

Mr Manyenyeni

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Harare City management has used part of the US$144,4 million loan from China for water and sewerage reticulation to buy 25 luxury cars, which include Land Rovers and Range Rovers. Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni revealed this at a full council meeting on Thursday, where acting town clerk Engineer Christopher Zvobgo said he was aware of 13 vehicles — though he first said eight had been bought.
The value of the cars was still to be established.

Yesterday, deputy mayor Thomas Muzuva revealed further lack of clarity on the whole deal when he said: “I understand 25 vehicles were bought. When I asked the town clerk (Dr Tendai Mahachi) he said 21 were bought, but Engineer Zvobgo told full council that 13 vehicles were bought.
“We will need proof in the form of receipts to know the actual number of vehicles bought as well as the price,” he said

On Thursday, Clr Manyenyeni told the full council, “Every day we are waking up to surprises, the deal continues to be too cloudy to be ignored.
“There are reports that council bought vehicles using funds from the water project. We cannot continue to ignore these reports, we have to do something about them.”
In 2010, the city secured a US$144,4 million loan for China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation to refurbish water and sewage treatment plants.

Government guaranteed the loan, which was signed for by Dr Mahachi and the then Mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda.
Councillors expressed outrage over the purchase of the vehicles, with former finance committee chairperson Clr Norman Markham saying there was too much opacity in how council spent money and that is why he had resigned from his brief earlier this year.

Deputy mayor Muzuva added: “Your Worship, the finance committee should have been involved because these officials are diverting funds from the Chinese loan facility. This is a loan, it is not a grant and residents will pay for it.

“We want a breakdown of how the money was used. We might wake up to be told that there is no money left.”
Cllr Muzuva said Dr Mahachi should have left officials responsible for water to run the programme “instead of imposing himself in the committee”.

“We are smelling a rat,” he said “We want to know how many cars were brought because we hear 26 vehicles were bought, including some Range Rovers.”
Mr Manyenyeni asked acting town clerk Eng Zvobgo to comment, and he responded: “Under the project, there is a provision of eight cars.”
Pressed further, Eng Zvobgo then said 13 vehicles were bought for the project team.

Cllr Febion Kufahakutizwi argued that the project team already had council vehicles.
Hatcliffe’s Cllr Naboth Munyengera alleged that Dr Mahachi knew the deal would be questioned, hence he absented himself from the meeting. Dr Mahachi sent apologies saying he was unwell.

Council resolved to establish a committee of two councillors and three experts to probe the entire deal after acting chamber secretary Mr Charles Kandemire said it was possible for council to set up such a special team.

A report by consultant engineer Mr Peter Morris shows that council could lose more than US$100 million in the deal because many project items are grossly overpriced.
The city has denied irregularities in the deal.

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  • Ndareva

    Mahumbwe atinoitirwa so! Zvinotopedza power. Apa mvura inotoita yekuuya panzvimbo yekuti igare iripo! Kana ikauya hainwike futi. #crymybelovedcountry

    • Margaret

      True. It makes me angry and very sad seeing are country gone to the dogs. They don’t care as long as they are seen driving those 4/4. In potholed roads full of sewage. I bleed for Zimbabwe.

  • President

    God save Zimbabwe

    • gwaya

      Can we stop this madness at Town house and sue the administrators and Chombo please.

  • inini

    eaasy for me…y not jus sell the cars if they have not bn used and recover the money

  • ndodahondo2

    Are we as Zimbabweans going to woke up one day and resist this thug behavior? Zimbabwe is a country of cowards and those in power are aware of this. If Josia Magama, Ziyapapa, Nkomo etc could stand up to the ill-treatment by the Rhodesian regime then my question is, don’t we need to re-invent the spirit?

    • Mela

      Very true. They know Zimbabweans wont lift a finger

  • afrique

    whats the big deal, zanu pf has been doing that for over 30 years, but nhasi its news

  • Jotham

    I wonder whether our local civic leaders and their employees real know why they are occupying those posts. The Town Clerk and the Mayor must account for such incompetence. Vanhu ava vanorwara chaiko.

  • Givemore Mberi

    Aren’t loans supposed to be used for capacity building projects? This lack of appreciation to international best practice and a deliberate attack to the provisions of the Urban Council’s Act presents a worrying deviation to the rationale behind local authorities in the first place. Mr Chombo please bring back sanity to your Ministry.

  • Nodza Nodza

    Surely something must be done. Residents have lost confidence in drinking council water opting instead for bottled water. Project sponsors are discouraged when project finances are diverted from the original purposes.. Hapana kwatinosvika tichikanya madhaka kudai. Investigate these allegations and institute urgent remedial action.

  • Rondedzero

    What will be next in the Harare City Council tale of mess-ups? What about the rest of the local authorities elsewhere in the country? We could have placed our structures under the grip of wicked parasites and blood-sucking vampires in the guise of expert administrators. May the government act once and for all to root out the cancerous growth.

  • chamu

    Unotoshaya kuti zvinombofamba sei

  • guynextdoor

    mbavha, matsotsi, nhubu, huwori,
    luxury cars vanhu vachnwa mvura ine madhodhi. mapothole muroad wonzwa kuti another 11 million for cars for MPs.
    whats with these idiots and flashy cars.

  • Jambanja paSalisbury

    Corporate governance the Zanu Pf way! That is why Chombo aiti Mahachi haayende!

  • guynextdoor

    mbavha dzega dzakazara mumadept iwayo

  • Margaret

    Selfish people who have destroyed Zimbabwe. They love it when people are swimming in sewage. What kind of leadership and people who don’t know and don’t want progress and development of the country. This is gross. This is a disgrace!!

  • tt

    mvura yacho yakubuda here…?ha zve Zimbabwe zvanetsa

  • succuba

    This was a loan and not a handout that was supposed to be used for water treatment usage to help out the residents, so this will have to be paid back to the Chinese.

    So what have we here, government buying themselves luxury cars with part of that loan that the taxpayer and their families will ultimately have to foot the bill…. is this not both revolting & disgusting?


    Chinondinetsa ndechekuti munoramba muchivhotera ipapo mopedzazve mochema gore negore. Chamuri kuchema chiizve zvinhu zvamonoziva. Hapana solution apa as long as vanhu ivava vari in power. Dzidzai kuchinga hurumende ndiyo solution chete. The government is doing anything wrong. The hold elections every five years in order to give you an opportunity to choose the right candidate but you still vote for them. So, why are you crying. You know very well that they can not be prosecuted. Why do think then that they can stop their habit. Nobody can stop his/her habit of interest if he/she can not be prosecuted. Munhu akatanga kuba anozorora asungwa kana kuti aburitswa pabasa paarikuba.

  • Tamuka

    Mabasa aChombo ese aya!! He do not suspend them the city will die because they are highly qualified…connected mhani. Iye Chombo anogona kutowana yake mota ipapa!!

  • warren

    its late for this country….. there s no future here

  • David Booth Gardner

    Such people are hindrance in the path of development of Africa. They are an anathema.

  • mangoe

    this is embarassing honestly, screw them all