BY PRIDE MZARABANI
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors have distanced themselves from the Pomona dumpsite waste management deal currently dogged by corruption allegations.
Geogenix BV or Pomona Waste Management Private Limited signed a US$316 million contract with the Harare City Council (HCC) to manage the Pomona dumpsite for the next 30 years.
Geogenix has already commenced clearing the ground at the Pomona dumpsite to create a state-of-the-art waste management facility.
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday told NewsDay that the contract was awarded by Cabinet and had nothing to do with CCC councillors.
“As the mayor I have not approved that contract. It has nothing to do with CCC. That was a contract approved by the Cabinet, and it was pushed by the Cabinet. We have no interest in that contract. It is against the residents, it destroys the resident’s interests,” Mafume said.
Early this month, Harare North MP Allan Markham dragged the city council and Local Government minister July Moyo to court to force them to review the Geogenix contract saying it would be very expensive for the City of Harare.
Markham felt that the contract would force the council to pay Geogenix in foreign currency for 30 years, resulting in the heavy debt being loaded on Harare residents.
Mafume said: “You cannot as landlords enter into a contract where you the landlord pays the lessee, it’s like Hwange Colliery paying Zesa to get its coal. It does not make sense, it is morally wrong.”
Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba blasted the waste energy management project saying: “The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) objects to the whole waste to energy project. Firstly, the City of Harare never consulted ratepayers. Secondly, the contractor is not investing any amount of money into the project, and the city has to surrender ownership and control of the Pomona dumpsite without receiving any payment or taxes from Geogenix BV.
“The dumpsite is wholly owned by the City of Harare and it should be the one being paid for the utilisation of garbage by this company. The deal is unjustified. We urge residents of Harare not to fund this madness, and the City of Harare must abandon the project without further offending the ratepayers. Remaining in this deal is not beneficial to the residents.”
The contract between Geogenix and City of Harare is believed to have been signed by the acting town clerk Eegineer Phakamile Moyo as the city’s representative.
Meanwhile, in a joint Press statement yesterday Civic Society organisations blasted the Pomona Waste Energy project saying it was corrupt.
“The City of Harare has no capacity to collect 1 000 tonnes of waste as per the agreement due to its depleted fleet of refuse collection trucks, and the local authority is not in a position to pay
US$40 000 per day, hence the deal is meant to fail,” the statement by residents association and CSOs read.