BY VARAIDZO MUDEWAIRI
Harare City Council (HCC) has handed over the Pomona dumpsite to a German investor, Geogenix BV, to transform the dumpsite into a waste management project under a deal that has courted controversy.
The deal has attracted litigation over possible irregularities on how it was awarded and structured. There is a pending case at the High Court, where Harare North legislator Norman Markham is challenging the awarding of project, which will see the city pay Geogenix US$316 million.
Several allegations have been raised on the project, implicating Local Government minister July Moyo for allegedly railroading the council into hurriedly approving the deal before the March 26 by-elections, which saw the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change councillors becoming the majority.
Moyo allegedly feared that their presence could jeopardise the project.
“It is in the public interest that we jointly issue this statement, primarily to update the general public, but also to avert any misinformation on the developments at the Pomona dumpsite,” HCC and Geo Pomona Waste Management said in a joint statement.
“The City of Harare concluded a Build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) joint venture agreement with Geogenix BB with a contractual lifespan of 30 years.
“This project will transform the Pomona dumpsite into a modern urban waste management facility for the City of Harare and its residents, elevating the city’s urban waste disposal capabilities to modern standards. The benefits of such a milestone, if allowed and supported by all stakeholders, are extensive.”
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They claimed that the project was necessary in addressing all concerns raised by stakeholders and adopting best practices and modern technology consistent with world standards.
HCC said all private parties active in waste collection were at liberty to engage Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Limited on the modalities of how their relationship could progress going forward.
The key components of the BOOT agreement are encapsulation of the existing landfill, internal infrastructure works (utilities, roads, drainage), construction of a new landfill, construction of a wastewater treatment plant, construction of a biogas plant, construction of a recycling plant, construction of a waste-to-energy plant, construction of a recreation area within the landfill and management of the entire waste treatment.
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