Govt steps in to honour Pomona obligations

The Pomona dumpsite project has taken a new twist, with the Government, which is the guarantor, now set to honour its obligations as outlined in the contract between Harare City Council and Geogenix BV.

This comes as CCC councillors backed by their party, have been desperately trying to frustrate the investment.

One of the Government’s obligations is that in the event that Harare City Council fails to honour its obligations, it will pay Geogenix BV using devolution funds.

In an interview yesterday, Local Government and Public Works Permanent Secretary Mr Zvinechimwe Churu urged council to honour the agreement.

Mr Churu said the deal signed by council was noble, with the Government supporting it as it has major benefits to residents including ending the perennial fire outbreaks at Pomona dumpsite that sometimes led to deaths.

“The deal should continue. Whatever concerns they have should be done in line with the provisions of the agreement. They have not terminated the agreement through passing a resolution.

“We only go by the law. We will support in line with the provisions of the agreement. There are undertakings that Government made in the agreement,” said Mr Churu.

Zimbabwe cannot have organisations reneging on agreements made with international investors in a few months.

According to the contract between Harare City Council and Geogenix BV, the Government unconditionally undertook and agreed to provide a guarantee to the contractor for the entire concession period of 30 years.

The Herald has seen a letter dated July 20, 2022, from acting Harare town clerk Engineer Phakamile Mabhena Moyo, addressed to Mr Churu, in which council was saying Government should settle invoices from Geogenix BV.

Eng Moyo said during a meeting held yesterday that was attended by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, Mr Churu and other ministry officials, Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume, acting chamber secretary Mr Warren Chiwawa and a senior accountant only identified as Mr T Chigodora, “it was agreed that the Government will pay Geogenix for the invoices for the months of May, June and for July 2022 once the invoice is submitted”.

“Thereafter, Government will pay further incoming invoices whilst assisting City of Harare to build capacity to pay with a view to wean the City from this funding.

“Secondly, the payment by Government will not prejudice the City’s Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer allocation for 2022,” said Mr Moyo in the letter.

In a bizarre turn of events, CCC councillors led by Mayor Mafume refused to channel their devolution funds to the Pomona project barely days after suggesting so.

During a special council meeting last Monday, Ward 43 Councillor Blessing Duma had moved a motion that the chamber secretary, town clerk and mayor should engage Minister Moyo to advise him on the city’s financial position.

Clr Duma further said in the contract there was a provision that devolution funds could be channelled towards the Pomona energy investment for five years since the Government was a guarantor to the deal.

Clr Keith Charumbira seconded the motion. Herald

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