President Robert Mugabe’s office has ordered Harare City Council to ditch French company, Veolia Africa, initially shortlisted to refurbish the city’s water treatment plant, on allegations that the firm has a questionable global reputation. Instead, the Office of the President and Cabinet recommended that the city engages Chinese firm, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), for the same project.
According to minutes seen by NewsDay of the council’s environment committee meeting held on March 27, 2017, the decision to ditch the French company followed a report made by Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Paris, Rudo Chitiga. Part of the minutes read:
A letter was received from the Office of the President and Cabinet through the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing wherein Zimbabwe’s ambassador to France, Rudo Chitiga, had alerted government on negative sentiments the world over about Veolia Africa’s capacity and inefficiency in managing water in Paris, resulting in the company’s contract being withdrawn for inefficiency and overcharging.