State Media -Resolutions by Harare City councillors to block or cancel the Pomona waste management project are invalid since the Government was involved from the start and efforts to derail the project work against the interests of residents and the nation at large, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said.
In a letter to Harare Mayor, Councillor Jacob Mafume, Minister Moyo said minutes of a council meeting held on August 3 reported resolutions detrimental to the city as waste management was a nightmare under the present council.
In any case, there was a binding contract between Geogenix BV and council while the Government had granted the project national status, showing its importance.
In the letter dated September 27, 2022, Minister Moyo cited a number of resolutions that were made in that meeting, the notable one being that council should not oppose the court case by residents of Harare for publication of the report on investigations into converting Pomona waste to energy.
Other resolutions were that council exercises the termination clause in its contract with Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd to cancel the deal and mandated the acting chamber secretary to proceed with the necessary action.
“Pursuant to the passing of the resolutions, your office through the office of the town clerk advised the Ministry through a letter dated 26 September.
“In my view the above mentioned resolutions were gratitious and not in the interests of the inhabitants of Harare and the public at large, a burden which is now cascading to the inhabitants and therefore cannot be allowed,” he said.
Minister Moyo said in any case, the project was granted national project status by Government and therefore in the national interest, Government is part of this arrangement.
“Hence Government will not accept such an action which undermines efforts to enhance service delivery in the local authorities as well as erosion of investor confidence on current and future investments in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“I accordingly, direct in terms of Section 314 of the Urban Council’s Act, that council immediately rescinds the resolutions cited above which seeks to not oppose the court case as well as the termination of the contract. The resolution is, in my view, in bad faith and not in the public interest.”
The €304 million Pomona dumpsite waste-to-energy project is expected to generate up to 22MW of electricity.
Apart from electricity generation, the project is also projected to generate at least 300 jobs, boost economic growth and reduce the country’s import bill for electricity with the investor already exploring other investment opportunities in the country.
There has been persistent attempts by opposition CCC councillors led by Mayor Mafume to derail projects that are critical in the restoration of Harare’s sunshine City status. Herald