SCANDAL: CCC distances self from Pomona Waste Management Limited deal as HCC hands over Pomona dumpsite KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

SCANDAL: CCC distances self from Pomona Waste Management Limited deal as HCC hands over Pomona dumpsite

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.

“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.

Several allegations have been raised on the project, implicating Local Government minister July Moyo for allegedly railroading the council into hurriedly approving the deal before the March 26 by-elections, which saw the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change councillors becoming the majority.

Moyo allegedly feared that their presence could jeopardise the project.

“It is in the public interest that we jointly issue this statement, primarily to update the general public, but also to avert any misinformation on the developments at the Pomona dumpsite,” HCC and Geo Pomona Waste Management said in a joint statement.

“The City of Harare concluded a Build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) joint venture agreement with Geogenix BB with a contractual lifespan of 30 years.

The key components of the BOOT agreement are encapsulation of the existing landfill, internal infrastructure works (utilities, roads, drainage), construction of a new landfill, construction of a wastewater treatment plant, construction of a biogas plant, construction of a recycling plant, construction of a waste-to-energy plant, construction of a recreation area within the landfill and management of the entire waste treatment.

In his founding affidavit, Markham stated that the local authority hastily convened a meeting on February 28, 2022 and purportedly adopted or approved the recommendations.

"The decision to approve the contract by and between Harare City Council and Geogenix was grossly unreasonable, irrational and extremely detrimental to the interests of the residents, stakeholders and ratepayers of the City of Harare.

"The contract creates serious financial obligations for Harare City Council to pay Geogenix in foreign currency (US$) for a period of thirty (30) years. It is common cause that the first respondent's waste collection costs are actually in the local currency (RTGS) and there is a huge disparity in the exchange rates of the local currency and the United States dollar.

"Harare City Council does not have capacity to meet this obligation without falling deep into an intractable debt trap or resorting to other developmental funds. The cost of the project is unsustainable," the founding affidavit read.

Markham also states that chances are high that the City of Harare will fail to perform its obligations given its incapacitation.

"It is common cause that the City of Harare is currently failing to collect waste from several places in Harare due to shortage of trucks. I understand that currently, the city of Harare has six working trucks.

"The failure of City of Harare to deliver the required tonnage would, however, not excuse it from paying Geogenix. In fact, assuming that the first respondent (City of Harare) fails to perform its obligations, which is highly likely given its incapacitation, Geogenix may choose to terminate the contract and walk away with US$3 500 000 for nothing," Markham said.

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