Harare North legislator Allan Markham and three others have filed an application before the High Court seeking a review of the controversial Pomona waste management deal entered into between the City of Harare and Netherlands registered company Geogenix.
Under the deal, the investor will design, build, operate and transfer the Pomona waste management facility to an energy plant. Harare City will pay Geogenix BV US$40 per tonne of waste delivered and the stipulated daily delivery is at least 550 tonnes or a minimum of 200 750 tonnes per year – translating to US$8,03 million for Geogenix BV in the first year.
Markham also wants the High Court to set aside the Harare City decision to enter into the contract with Geogenix.
In his application to the High Court, cited the council, Moyo, Stewart Mutizwa, former Harare mayor Jacob Mafume, Phakamile Moyo and Geogenix as respondents, respectively.
In his founding affidavit, Markham stated that the local authority hastily convened a meeting on February 28, 2022 and purportedly adopted or approved the recommendations.
“The decision to approve the contract by and between Harare City Council and Geogenix was grossly unreasonable, irrational and extremely detrimental to the interests of the residents, stakeholders and ratepayers of the City of Harare.
“The contract creates serious financial obligations for Harare City Council to pay Geogenix in foreign currency (US$) 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.