MPs grill minister over Pomona deal

July Moyo

LOCAL Government minister July Moyo was last week grilled by opposition legislators over the controversial Pomona waste management deal with Geogenix BV, which is being implemented in the capital.

Moyo has been snubbing National Assembly question-and-answer sessions for a long time, but last week he turned up and the opposition legislators had a chance to demand an explanation from him over the costly waste management deal which would have seen Harare City Council forking out US$22 000 per day or US$8 million annually to dump its waste at the Pomona dumpsite.

Harare East legislator Tendai Biti demanded to know why government, notwithstanding that City of Harare cancelled the agreement with German investor Geogenix BV, continues to pay the US$22 000 per day fee.

“The Constitution in section 264 says local authorities are run by elected people and not the minister. What is the minister’s take in this corrupt agreement?”

Harare North legislator Allan Markham accused Moyo of abusing devolution funds.

“How can devolution funds be used to guarantee a project in perpetuity? In other words, he is making the sole decision to use devolution funds for this year. That is fine, but he is guaranteeing with devolution funds that have not been approved yet,” Markham said.

Kambuzuma legislator Willias Madzimure said Moyo should explain why he did not bring the Pomona waste management deal before Parliament for scrutiny.

Moyo said the project was appraised by the City of Harare, which was joined in the appraisal by government which has a responsibility over local authorities throughout the country.

“So, when the government was approached by the City of Harare, we knew that there is a problem in Pomona. Government agreed to say we should proceed with this project. We have gone ahead and appended our guarantee, and that is why we are going ahead with the full appraisal of the technical people of the City of Harare,” said Moyo.

“There is nowhere in the agreement where it says it is guaranteed by devolution funds. This is imagination as there is nowhere where it is written like that.”

Moyo further indicated that when there is a government guarantee and a default in payment occurs, Treasury picks up the tab.

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