Harare City starts paying US$22 000 a day to company linked to Mnangagwa’s son
The City of Harare has begun paying US$22 000 a day to Geogenix B.V, a shadowy company linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son Collins and family friend Delish Nguwaya for waste management in the capital city.
Geogenix B.V, a blacklisted company in Europe, was, without going to tender, given Pomona Dump sites for free by City of Harare (COH) councillors led by then acting Mayor Stewart Mutizwa in June last year.
It is expected to transform the dumpsite into a waste management facility and be paid at least US$22 000 a day and US$14,600,000 a year, translating to over US$300 million for 30 years according to the contract.
The contract has attracted mixed feelings from the public due to its terms and conditions which in particular, requires Harare City Council the owner of Pomona land to pay a tenant, Geogenix B.V daily allowances for dumping waste.
The agreement has a guaranteed minimum which entails that, whether the city dumps or not, it will have to pay a certain amount of money.
Mayor of Harare Jacob Mafume argues the contract was signed during his absence and that of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors to avoid them opposing it.
Speaking yesterday on Twitter spaces hosted by investigative journalist Elias Mambo, Mafume said the contract was unheard of. He, however, noted that the city had legally begun to accrue debts to Geogenix B.V for the mere fact that the company had fenced Pomona.
“Here we are having the landlord paying rentals to the tenant. It is ridiculous, immoral and unheard of,” he said.
“I’m not even sure if a landlord is allowed to enter into such a contract. If you look at the length of the contract, it is 30 years and has a guaranteed minimum.
“That’s a lot of money. In the fifth year, the guaranteed minimum is 1000 tonnes which is US$40 000 per day and someone gets that. All you need to do is to put a fence around a dumpsite and you’re already in the money.
“Even those who have gone to the casino have never had such luck. Where you simply put a fence and the money starts rolling in the US$s.”
Mafume further stated: “Yes, the company is already on the ground. They have put a fence. The private players who want to enter are being asked to pay US$40.
“Every day that passes by, we owe the money. We might not physically pay, but it’s a contract, we will have to pay.”
Harare North legislator Norman Markham has since approached the High Court challenging the awarding of the project.
The outspoken MP said the contract was not specific on the issue of recycling and separation of waste. He also noted that there was no part of the project creating jobs for the local people.
Markham said he engaged the Netherlands Embassy in Harare over the matter.
“As Harare North we have a problem, you know the numerous things are at mute in this contract. For example, the issue of recycling and separation of waste,” he said.
“But one of the major issues is, there is nothing said about employment. Where are people going to be employed? I’m not saying they must employ people from there. I’m just saying are we taking on this deal and we haven’t even considered the workers? This is a major issue because the City of Harare has massive unemployment.”
In an interview with Nehanda Radio in March, councillor Mutizwa said the deal was bound to go on.
“The deal started five years ago, if not eight years ago when we still had Manyenyeni as the Mayor. There were two tender adverts that were made. The first failed to attract anyone.
“The second attracted the Geogenix B.V of the Netherlands. There was due diligence that was done that time which failed to interest the leadership that was there that time.
“And then it came again two years back when (Hebert) Gomba was Mayor and sought to seek a partnership with council to do the worst to energy proposal which was then considered by council.
“We are also going to receive 3 cents per per kilo hour watt from the power generation. So, it is a lie to say we are giving it for free. So don’t be carried away by those who are either against me or the government.
“I said I’m opening a new narrative that will spell you with service delivery matters. No politics. I’m not here for politics. I’m not scared of anything this deal is above board. It is beyond me now. It is government business and the council is going to benefit hugely.
“We are paying for the dumpsite management. There are two areas of payment, the collection and dumpsite,” Mutizwa added.