China withholds $70m for upgrading Harare’s water and sewage works, poor repayment record cited

The China Export-Import Bank which signed a $144 million loan in 2013, to fund the upgrade of the Harare water and sewage works, has stopped releasing funds with another $70 million still expected. The Chinese have reportedly been frustrated by the government’s poor debt repayment record.

Part of the audited financials for the year-ended December 2016, for the City of Harare read:

Disbursements from Exim Bank of China have since ceased, with the total disbursements received amounting to $68 612 741.

In addition to the cessation of disbursements, subsequent invoices of work done by China Mechanical Engineering Corporation (CMEC) amounting to $23 979 493 have been received and however not acknowledged by Exim Bank of China in its latest loan statement.

Harare’s water supply infrastructure was upgraded to supply 1,5 million people in 1994 and much of it is over 60 years old, well above the recommended 15 years.

More: Financial Gazette

 

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