MDC Alliance defends own councillors for signing Pomona deal, place blame on government  

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By Thandiwe Garusa

MDC Alliance has leapt to the defence of its Harare councillors, most of whom have been accused of playing a central role in approving the controversial Pomona deal.

The opposition party’s vice president and a former Harare mayor, Elias Mudzuri ,Thursday told journalists blame lay squarely on technocrats within council and government, considering it had given the deal national project status.

The deal has seen council losing its main dumpsite, Pomona, to the Netherlands based investor, Geogenix, which got the gig after the intervention of local government minister, July Moyo.

“There are technical people and experts who must advise our councillors. Our councillors do not take documents home to go and read a contract. It is the experts within central government. If they see something fishy, they will tell them to refuse.

“While we might blame councillors totally, the deal was done between central government through local government and Geogenix, so it is purely a deal between government and Geogenix. This also has been made a national project by government,” Mudzuri said.

A newly reconstituted Harare City Council has resisted paying daily fees being charged by Geogenix BV, with the bill exceeding a million US dolllars.

Geogenix BV local representative,  Delish Nguwaya,l has vowed they will pay it. He recently announced a 12% fine on council for failing to pay the bill.

MDC Alliance president, Douglas Mwonzora, however called on government to reconsider some aspects of the deal, as it was not justifiable.

“The deal is not reasonably justifiable and not supportable; we propose that the government immediately renegotiates this deal to consider the anomalies that we have observed as the stakeholder, which make this deal not make business sense.

“Recommendations by the committee that did due diligence must be factored in and observations made in Harare City Council must be considered.

“It is sensible that we must process waste, generate electricity out if and invest in cleaning our city, but in getting all that, we must do something which makes business sense,” Mwonzora said.

Only offices have been built at the Pomona site so far.