Former Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni on Wednesday advised his successor, mayor Herbert Gomba to be wary of deals the City Fathers enter into with the Chinese.
Manyenyeni was responding reports that that Harare City Council was failing to access more funds from China because of failure to service a US$72 million debt from US$144 loan extended by the China Exim-Bank. Said Manyenyeni:
We should always be aware of what has been happening around us. We hear that one of Kenya’s Ports was taken by the Chinese and Zambia has lost quite a lot already.
We should be concerned by statements by the Mayor (Gomba) that we are now failing to access the remaining $72 million of the initial loan because we are failing to repay the loan which was given to us by the Chinese.
It is necessary that we make deals which are manageable, which our children will be able to pay back and will not mortgage the country.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told NewZimbabwe.com the government could not track every deal struck by councils they were sure that those signed were beneficial to the cities.