China Machinery Engineering Corporation, the company contracted to rehabilitate Harare water and sewage system under the $144 million loan facility from China Exim Bank has cleared grey areas in the execution of the project saying project vehicles which cost $1 million were required for the project.
"To date about $3 million has been spent on procurements, including about $1 million on procurement of 21 project vehicles ranging from pickup's to SUV's."
The company has reiterated former Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni’s sentiments that the information gap was the cause of the “controversy” as the vehicles in question were sanctioned by Government which waivered import duty.
CMEC said to date $3 million has been spent on procurements, including $1 million on procurement of 21 project vehicles and only half of the $144 million has been disbursed.
“We appreciate and understand the City of Harare’s need for vehicles for this project due to the various and widespread locations involved and so we released funds as per your request and the procurement agreement to ensure the implementation of the project and daily operation of the municipality,” said CMEC.
“The project sites including Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Works, Warren Control Pump Station, Alex Park Pump Station, Letombo Pump Station, Crowborough and sewage plants are located at different places in Harare.”
“We have spent all the money we received for the project on renovation of Morton Jaffray (the main work of the project) as well as supply of water treatment chemicals, valves for distribution, water treatment lab equipment, construction equipment and ICT equipment for the improved operation of your municipality.”
CMEC said Morton Jaffray was set up more than 60 years ago and all original equipment including mechanical and electrical parts had broken down and the current water being supplied was as a result of the rehabilitation works.
The company said without its critical renovation work, currently there would be no water supplied to the city hence the Chinese loan was essential in ensuring water supply and the operation of council.
“As we have not received the rest of the money, we could not do renovation works at Warren Control, Alex Park, Letombo, Firle and Crowborough as per the contract.”
Former Mayor Cllr Manyenyeni is on the record saying few people know that only $72 million has been expended.
“Very few people know that we have only drawn down $72 million and work is over 90 percent done on that particular site. So that gap of information is probably the cause of controversy. The issue of motor vehicles the problem was there was limited disclosure,” he said.
“Those cars were part and parcel of the contract. Those cars were bought half price because the project has National Project Status. The Government gave import duty free. Those cars may look expensive on the street but in terms of actual cost outlay they had the blessing of central government and we had duty waivered so the cars were pretty much half price.”