The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has described the ongoing impasse between the City of Harare and the Local Government Ministry over the Pomona waste energy deal as unfortunate with a potential to cripple municipal operations.
A Netherlands based company, Geogenix BV was handpicked to ‘partner’ with the Harare City Council in a waste-to-energy deal that was supposed to see the latter paying US$40 per tonne per day for every garbage deposited at the council owned dumpsite.
Recently, Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume announced the cancellation of the controversial deal through a letter to Geogenix BV agent Delish Nguwaya.
“Pursuant to the agreement entered between City of Harare and Geogenix BV, we advise that Council resolved to terminate the contract in its sitting on the 3rd of August 2022.” read a letter written to Nguwaya by Acting City of Harare Town Clerk Engineer Phakamisa Moyo.
Local government Minister July Moyo through a letter to Mayor Mafume said the council resolutions on the Pomona deal were null and void.
“Pursuant to the passing of the resolutions, your office through the office of the To0wn Clerk advised the Ministry through a letter dated 26 September.
“In my view the above mentioned resolutions were gratuitous and not in the interests of the in habitants of Harare and the public at large, a burden which is now cascading to the inhabitants and therefore cannot be allowed,” Moyo said.
In an interview with 263Chat, CHRA acting director Rueben Akili said the deal has a potential to cripple the local authority, urging Minister July Moyo not to abuse the Urban Councils Act.
“It’s unfortunate that the Minister is now purporting to represent the interests of residents when infact they commenced that project without consulting any resident. Who is the Minister representing? We as CHRA and CWA requested the Investigation Report on Pomona and according to the Minister it is not in the best interests of the habitats of Harare, this exposes the Ministers actions.
“That so called “deal” hasn’t been good for Harare very exploitative with a potential to cripple our local authority. The Minister of Local government must desist from abusing Section 314 of the Urban Councils Act. We also call for the respect of the constitution and central government must not interfere in the functions of local authorities as this is tantamount to abuse of power and authority thereby creating a fertile and breeding ground for corruption. Full implementation of devolution provided in chapter 14 of the Constitution will bring sanity in our local government system,” said Akili.