LOCAL government minister July Moyo has ordered Harare mayor Jacob Mafume to stop all investigations into the controversial Pomona waste-to-energy deal and pay council’s ballooning debt to Netherlands based Geogenix BV without fail.
Council had resolved, at its last meeting, to appoint a special committee that would investigate the deal.
It also mandated the Mafume-led council to nominate members of the special committee who will include specialists from outside council and suspended their “questionable” contract with Geogenix.
Council also wrote a letter advising the ministry it was unable to pay the sum invoiced for the month of May, which Moyo has insisted must be paid without fail.
“The failure and or neglect to pay the May invoice has serious repercussions, not only with respect to council’s obligations, but also on government who is the guarantor of the project,” said the Minister.
“Your failure and or neglect to pay has resulted in accumulation of arrears including interest due to the project.
“In my considered view, the above-mentioned resolutions were gratuitous and not in the interests of the inhabitants of Harare and the public at large, a burden which is now cascading to the inhabitants and therefore cannot be allowed.”
He added: “In any case, in our reading of your contract with Geogenix B.V there is no provision for unilateral action by either party to suspend the same.
“I accordingly direct, in terms of section 314 (1) of the urban councils’ act [Chapter 29:15], that council immediately rescinds the resolutions cited above which seek to suspend the contract between the City of Harare and Geogenix B.V on the Pomona Waste to Energy project.”
The controversial US$344 million deal was initiated by government, while council handed over its Pomona Dumpsite to Georgenix for free for a period of 30 years.
It is supposed to pay US$40,000 per day to dump waste it has collected at its own cost for the next 30 years at the same dumpsite.
Earlier attempts to have it pay its ballooning debt have been futile. – Pachedu