The Masvingo City Council is yet to implement a US$73 million water augmentation deal nearly 5 years after signing the deal with the Chinese.
Sources at the local authority said the city had lost all hope in securing the loan from the Chinese after the government reportedly failed to give surety to the loan deal.
In December, 2015, the then Masvingo Mayor, Hubert Fidze signed an estimated US$73 million loan deal with a Chinese firm, in an effort to improve the citys service delivery.
The deal was supposed to cater for the water augmentation and the waste collection project.
At least US$60 million of the deal was supposed to be secured and channeled towards improving the city’s water pumping capacity while the remainder would be used for other service delivery related issues.
However, the deal hasn’t materialized despite the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Harare.
In a move of resignation from deal, the local authority has since partnered the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) to double the pumping capacity from 30 mega litres to 60 mega litres.
Information posted on the IDBZ website revealed that the deal has an estimated cost of US$9 million and a time frame of 9 months.
The project will involve rehabilitation of current water supply facilities.
Contacted for comment, Acting Town clerk, Eng Edward Mukaratirwa confirmed that the Chinese deal had failed to bear fruit and said the new IDBZ deal has also been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We had done all the paperwork as a local authority but the deal stalled on the part of the government because they were supposed to give a guarantee to China.
“However, we had a meeting with IDBZ before the lockdown so there were some issues which we agreed they should work on while we also work on our side but due to the lockdown their office is not yet open.
“The IDBZ deal isnt limited to one institution unlike the Chinese deal which focused on one firm”, said Mukaratirwa.
The local authority has of late been accused of milking the ratepayers to fund their day to day operations with rates being hiked by over 700% at the start of the year.