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Harare residents plot garbage blockade


HARARE residents have threatened to block garbage collection in the city to stall the controversial Pomona waste management deal.

The Geogenix BV-run US$340 million project is sustained by processing waste into energy and charging Harare City Council US$22 000 per day to dump refuse at Pomona, a dumpsite owned by the council.

Yesterday, the Information for Development Trust (IDT) and the Harare Residents Trust petitioned Harare City Council over the costly deal.

HRT chairperson Precious Shumba handed the petition to Harare mayor Jacob Mafume, demanding that the local authority should engage Geogenix BV to re-negotiate the terms of the contract to avoid loss of public funds.

Despite public outcry over the controversial deal, Local Government minister July Moyo insists that it must go ahead, while Mafume has ordered its cancellation.

Shumba said residents agreed to stop Harare City Council from collecting garbage in their wards.

“We are going to stop the collection of garbage in our wards, and we are going to keep our garbage and Harare City Council should not use the vehicles we are buying as ratepayers to collect waste.  We have over 5 000 residents who have signed the petition,” Shumba said.

Residents said any councillor who provided vehicles to complement refuse collection in their respective wards would be forced to foot the bill.

“Any councillor who provides vehicles to complement council in refuse collection in their respective wards should pay the same amount the City of Harare is being charged by Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Limited to dispose of garbage at the Pomona Dumpsite until such a time the contract agreement is adjusted to reflect the interests of the residents of Harare,” the petition read.

“Initiate a deliberate democratic process on the Pomona Waste to Energy Project to give the residents of Harare an opportunity to input into the process by creating adequate spaces for consultation, valuing, transparency and accountability.”

Residents said the Pomona deal exposed corrupt tendencies in the country.

“Have you heard of a deal where a landlord will pay his tenant?... We are demanding our dumpsite back,” Shumba said, describing the project as a “bad deal” which would not benefit Harare.

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