GOVERNMENT has gone solo to settle the Pomona Waste Management bill owed to Geogenix BV after the Harare City Council refused to pay saying the deal was questionable and extortionist.
Speaking during a ministerial tour of the Pomona dumpsite yesterday, which the Harare City Council boycotted, Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo said government had paid a greater part of the amount owed to the Netherlands-based company.“Government is part of the deal because it was given national project status. As far as we are concerned, we have met our contractual agreement, and we have paid most of the money. We might be behind, but every cent will be settled,” Chombo said.
Information and Publicity ministry secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said government was paying because the country respected contractual obligations.
“Zimbabwe is open for business and we respect the contractual agreements, and that is why government is paying,” Mangwana said.Harare City Council cancelled the US$340 million deal, which stipulated that council would pay US$22 000 per day and provide Geogenix BV with waste to be turned into green energy.
Mayor Jacob Mafume has described the deal as a contract made in hell.
“We were never part of the deal from the onset and we continue not to be part of it. Cabinet is the one that set and gave it a national status; so it’s a national project. As far as we are concerned, HCC has never had capacity and it will never have capacity to pay a single cent. We know the law and we will defend our position,” Mafume said.
Under the deal, government has been paying US$780 000 per month since May.Harare councillors voted to have the deal cancelled citing breach of procurement regulations and failure to consult residents, who have also rejected it.