Govt unmoved by Pomona critics
HARARE – Cabinet ministers and Douglas Mwonzora led Harare City Council councillors have backed the Pomona dumpsite waste to energy plant model in Harare, pouring scorn on critics who have called for the reversal of the deal.
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume of Citizens Coalition For Change says the city council will not pay a cent to Geogenix BV, describing the agreement signed by the local authority as the “mother of all corruption” that has to be stopped immediately.
At the same time the Community Water Alliance has petitioned the City of Harare to terminate the controversial Pomona waste management deal in the interest of good public administration.
Elsewhere, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association has petitioned the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the agreement.
However, Government is forging ahead with the deal with Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa saying the construction works started by GeoPomona should be replicated in other cities.
“We want to say to Geogenix we are impressed with what you are doing. You have been here hardly a month, but the work you are doing with the City of Harare is very impressive,” she said on the side-lines of a tour of the dumpsite.
“As a Government we are quite excited that issues of waste management will be things of the past. We want a Harare that is clean. The Second Republic is talking about putting back Harare, our cities, into the sunshine cities they have always been.”
Mutsvangwa was accompanied by her deputy Hon Kindness Paradza, Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa and Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Mike Madiro.
“We know in the past we lost children who were playing in these heaps of waste trying to pick whatever things they could lay their hands on. That will be a thing of the past. The place will be well secured and everything will be done very professionally,” Mutsvangwa said.
“We need to deal with all the waste in Zimbabwe. We have started with Harare, Pomona. They will be planting a lot of trees to make sure this place will never be a place for dumping waste. It will be an entertainment park.
“They will make sure there will be no smell. They will be building a biogas factory and instead of just having cleanliness, we will have more kilowatts added to the national grid,” she said.
“We want to make sure that all the waste is collected and is brought here where it is dealt with. This is very professional. In other cities, Western cities, you hardly see heaps of waste.
“What you see is loads of trucks bringing in waste. It will be weighed and they will pay for whatever they will be bringing in and everything will be recycled,” she added.
Acting Harare Mayor Musarurwa Mutizwa also expressed satisfaction with civil works being undertaken at Pomona.
“This is a project and we are part of it, part of the deal. As part of our equity we are going to be supplying the deal with all garbage from the city. The garbage is going to be paid as an entry fee.
“What is in the agreement is a yearly payment which we are going to pay as equity in terms of entry fees. We are partners in this business and going to share the spoils at the end of the day”.
Mutizwa said the generation of between 22 to 25 megawatts of electricity will see Harare City Council reaping huge rewards.
“What we are witnessing here is a massive development. We are very much happy with the progress so far made by Geogenix at this plant.
“Harare is very much seized with the business of cleaning the city where this package or deal will also capacitate the city to have the refuse compactors and other equipment that will help us clean the city,” he said.