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“Most of those behind shadowy Pomona deal will be dead in the agreed 30 years,” says Harare mayor; Council demands dumpsite back 

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By Lisa Nyanhongo 


HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume has bemoaned concerted efforts by government to force it into agreeing a shadowy Pomona waste-to-energy deal, arguing those doing so will be dead after the 30 years it is supposed to run.

Clarifying council’s position on the proposed use of devolution funds to pay off its ballooning Geogenix BV debt, Mafume said they wanted their dumpsite back instead.

Geogenix BV, an investor identified by the local government ministry to construct a 22MW power plant at the site, was given its full ownership on commencement of the deal three months ago.

Local government minister July Moyo was fingered as the man behind the multi-million-dollar deal, which is being fronted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa ally Delish Nguwaya.

Mafume was speaking to journalists Wednesday at Town House.

“We have not climbed down on the Pomona deal, we want our dumpsite back,” said Mafume.

“We do not have the money even if we were to pay, we will not allow council funds to be utilised for a purpose that is not with the residents, nor will we allow devolution funds to be used for a priority that is not determined by the council.

“I want to assure residents and I want to make it clear that they are not paying (the debt) with council funds, and they are not paying with devolution funds. We do not agree to this contract, and we want the dumpsite back for the residents.

“There is currently nothing at the site, besides an eight roomed cottage and a jojo tank. There is no investment yet and we are expected to pay such large amounts of money.

“This dumpsite was bought by the people of Harare in 1985, thereabouts. Where have you ever heard of a landlord paying for his own land.”

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Harare city council will be looking at an over US$2 million bill by end of this month after failing to settle the US$780 000 and US$1 million being demanded in previous months.

The agreement compels it pay a daily US$22 000 bill whether it dumps waste or not. The figure will be doubled after 12 months.

US$344 million was earmarked for investment into the new feature that was fast tracked by cabinet and given priority status.

Nguwaya told journalists Town House will pay the bill despite its current hardline stance.

His statement followed letters from Moyo demanding council releases funds for the project, which Mafume argued are not available.

“We have prioritised our devolution funds for purchase of ambulances, not Pomona. We will exhaust all legal routes to reverse this, if we were ever a part of it,” added Mafume.