By Innocent Ruwende
Harare is failing to secure foreign currency required to collect 21 outstanding refuse compactors bought from automotive manufacturer FAW Group Corporation for $3,1 million. The company has already delivered nine refuse trucks and 10 skip trucks using its own resources and the US$300 000 it got from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The city bought various pieces of equipment under the US$30 million loan facility accessed from local banks for recapitalisation.
According to the recent minutes of the Environment Management Committee,City of Harare officials visited FAW South Africa to assess the progress made on the refuse compactors
The FAW executive management comprised of two teams, one from FAW Zimbabwe and another one from South Africa.
FAW Zimbabwe was represented by operations director, Mr Patrick Masocha and group administration manager, Mr Brian Ruhukwa.
“They (FAW South Africa officials) said compactors could not be supplied on as expected due to foreign currency problems faced by FAW Zimbabwe. They said they produce 1 000 compactors per year and they had quite a number of them parked in the warehouse,” reads the minutes. “They went further to explain that vehicles could only be released to FAW Zimbabwe upon full payment into FAW South Africa bank account and this payment should be done in foreign currency. After the meeting the whole team was taken on a tour of their premises and vehicles.”
The team was also taken to the company’s warehouse where they were shown huge stocks of compactors which were more than Harare’s requirements.
The city officials told councillors that so far out of the $3 million which FAW South Africa is expecting from FAW Zimbabwe, the company had only received US$300 000 from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and it is using its own resources
“They (FAW South Africa) mentioned that the supply of 10 skip trucks was not paid for. FAW Zimbabwe only benefited from a credit facility which was extended to them by FAW South Africa. They are still expected to pay for them after securing foreign currency from either RBZ or their own resources,” read the minutes.
Following discussions, it was recommended that council notes that the delays in delivery of the trucks was caused by the non-allocation of foreign currency to FAW Zimbabwe for the company to make payments to the parent company in South Africa.
Council also tasked the acting town clerk Eng Hosiah Chisango to engage the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to ensure the release of foreign currency to cover the city’s needs.