Harare is without doubt sinking in debt that includes the RTGS$77 million to local water purification chemical supplier Chemplex, among others, and is owed more than RTGS$1 billion dollars by government, business and residents.
To think it is wise to borrow more, especially from the Chinese known to be ruthless when following their debt is exposing Harare to serious repercussions.
Though mayor Herbert Gomba has tried to assure residents that nothing will happen to the city assets if they fail to pay because government is the guarantor, it always remains problematic especially after the US$144 million deal remains as dodgy as it is ill-explained to the residents.
The Chinese, we hear, are not happy with the manner that loan was handled, they think money was abused, figures were inflated hence they are not releasing the remainder anytime soon.
In the wake of that, where is the guarantee that the current bailout deal will work and there won’t be any reports of abuse of funds and inflated figures?
Where is the guarantee that the loan will end the water crisis in the city now when the first deal did not?
Yes, the water distribution network is in shambles, too many leakages and nothing done about it in 65 years, so indeed a solution is needed but it remains to be seen whether this is not creating an even bigger problem for the residents. Only time will tell.
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