Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter
A group of CCC councillors is allegedly set to pocket US$12 000 in fees from Harare City Council for “investigating” the Pomona waste management deal, now a done deal with Government backing.
The committee chairperson, Councillor Ian Makone, is also allegedly compromised to investigate the deal as he was the Environmental Management Committee chair at the time the deal was approved.
CCC councillors are opposing the deal, despite it being legally entered between Harare City Council and Netherlands investor, Geogenix BV, after being approved by Government.
Under the deal, a massive waste-to-energy project would be set up at the Pomona dumpsite in Harare.
The special committee comprise of other CCC councillors including Keith Charumbira, Kudzai Kadzombe and Blessing Duma.
It is also made up if external lawyer, Mr Godfrey Mupanga, and Engineer Stephen Musarurwa.
Sources say each councillor will pocket a fee of US$12 000 for “investigating” the deal, which is already in the public domain.
Contacted for comment, acting town clerk, Engineer Phakhamile Mabhena Moyo, said: “I don’t have figures”.
Mayor Mafume said he was unaware of the move.
“We had a full council meeting (last Thursday) and no such thing was raised by the relevant committee.
“The issue hasn’t arisen at this stage,” he said.
But a well-placed source at Town House said the councillors had pleaded for more days to continue investigating the deal.
“Each councillor was initially set to receive US$6 000 for two weeks of investigating the Pomona deal, but they have requested for additional two weeks implying they will now pocket US$12 000 each,” said the source.
Interestingly, all the councillors in the committee belong to the CCC party which is on record opposing the project.
The project, which has already obtained national status project, is expected to generate up to 22MW of electricity.
It also has Cabinet approval, and therefore, outside the council’s purview to attempt to suspend or investigate it.
While the council may be obliged to pay external consultants on the committee such as lawyer Mr Mupanga and Eng Musarurwa of the Institute of Engineers, there is no basis for the councillors to be paid allowances as it is part of their mandate to conduct council business.
In a letter dated June 7, 2022, the Harare City through Mayor Mafume said the committee was being appointed to look into the concession agreement to design, build and operate the Harare Pomona waste management facility and waste to the energy power plant.
In the letter, Mayor Mafume said: “I am pleased to advise you that on 2nd June 2022, Council appointed you as one of the six members of the Special Committee. The special committee will be headed by Clr lan Makone.
“The committee shall meet to appoint one of its members as the Secretariat, as well as agree on the schedule of its operations.”
Mayot Mafume said the special committee shall endeavour to complete its task as expeditiously as possible, within 14 days from the date of the commissioning of the inquiry.
“You shall be paid fees that will be determined by the Finance and Development Committee, therefore you will be advised in due course. Thank you for accepting the council’s invitation to be part of the special committee,” he said.