Harare mayor Mafume sets up committee to prob controversial Pomona deal 

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By Reason Razao

HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume has set up a special committee to investigate the controversial Pomona site deal, after massive public uproar.

The waste to energy deal, struck between Harare city council and Netherlands based Geogenix BV has been heavily criticised since the involvement of local government minister July Moyo and shadowy businessman and President Emmerson Mnangagwa ally Delish Nguwaya was unearthed.

Large sums of money expected by Geogenix per day, from council saw the deal being challenged by residents and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), who all questioned how it was struck.

Mafume’s decision to set up the committee, came at Thursday’s special council meeting which seeks to suspend and eventually nullify the Pomona deal.

Announcing the committee, Mafume, who is in another tug of war for council power with MDC-T’s Stewart Mutizwa, cautioned councillors against representing potential investors and failing to protect residents.

“We are not advisors of external parties and I have noticed that in all these things our council officials were sheepishly agreeing to everything. They were sheepishly being told what to do by this office and that other office, that is not the procedure,” Mafume said.

“Every member in this council chamber must understand that primarily we are here to do what is in the best interest of council.

“We are employed as councillors and residents do not expect us to be pushed around by an office, any other office that is doing their own job.”

Moyo is said to have directed Mutizwa to ensure the deal was agreed on a lot faster than would have been ideal in terms of due diligence.

One of the deal’s sticking points is the US$40 charged per tonne of waste by Geogenix BV, with an expected minimum delivery of 550 tonnes; that then translates to US$22 000 per day.

The amount is paid whether council fails to deliver the 550 tonnes.