A TENSE Harare City Council (HCC) special council meeting yesterday resolved to suspend the controversial Pomoma waste management deal despite spirited resistance from MDC Alliance councillors.
Councillors from the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC Alliance were recently exposed as having approved the 30-year waste management agreement between council and the Netherlands-based Geogenix BV which would see the company pocket over US$240 million at US$22 000 a day.
Yesterday, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillor Jason Kautsa moved a motion for the deal to be suspended, and was supported by colleagues who included Denford Ngadziore.
MDC Alliance councillors Brian Matione (ward 13) and Tichaona Mhetu (ward 15) tried to block the motion saying they needed guidance from the acting chamber secretary Warren Chiwawa, but they were outnumbered.
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume agreed to the suspension of the controversial deal, before
appointing councillors Ian Makone, Keith Charumbira, Blessing Duma and Kudzai Kadzombe to probe the agreement.
Chiwawa warned that HCC risked being slapped with penalties, but Mafume stood his ground, saying they were acting in the interests of ratepayers.
“Yes, I am aware there are consequences when you suspend a contract, but that is the resolution. I have noticed that our council was sheepishly being told to agree to this by this and that office,” Mafume said.
“We are here to do what is in the best interest of the council. Everyone wants to live in Harare, but every decision being made is made against the interest of Harare.”
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has been petitioned to investigate circumstances leading to the agreement.
Opposition Harare North Member of Parliament, Allan Markham (Citizens Coalition for Change), recently filed an urgent High Court application seeking a review of the deal.
Local Government minister July Moyo, who has been named as being the driver of the controversial project, has been at pains to defend it.