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Fire destroys 30% of waste at Pomona dumpsite, company claims sabotage

A company linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s family, Geo Pomona Waste Management (Private) Limited, claims 30% of the waste at Pomona dumpsite was destroyed by a fire which broke out on Sunday.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company claimed the fire was a result of sabotage.

“Geo Pomona Waste Management (Private) Limited would like to inform ALL stakeholders and residents of Harare that there was a fire incident at the site on the 3rd of October 2022,” read the statement.

“The origins of the fire are yet to be established and investigations are underway to establish whether it was a natural fire or was a product of saboteurs of the project.

“Indications, presently, point towards some deliberate scheme by some third hand as the fire erupted in various but distant spots simultaneously.”

The company further claims that the fire erupted around 1200hrs in the afternoon and all efforts to contain it were in vain.

“We point out that about thirty percent (30%) of the dumpsite was engulfed. We are pleased to advise that at about and around 10pm in the evening of the 3rd Of October 2022, the flames were fully under control and not as raging as when the fire started.

“At present, we advise that we have managed to put off the fire. We have also put in place sufficient measures to safeguard the dumpsite from similar incidences going forward.

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“Geo Pomona Waste Management (Private) Limited is dedicated to ensuring a pollution free environment and providing sustainable and innovative solutions in waste management.

“Environmentally friendly waste management is at the heart of our organisation and defines the project we are currently carrying out. We assure all stakeholders of our commitment to achieving World Class Waste Management of the Pomona Dumpsite,” the company said.

Harare City Council recently entered into a US$320 million Pomona waste-to-energy joint venture with Netherlands based company Geogenix B.V. It is meant to turn waste into energy.

The deal, caused public outcry despite the fact that it was recommended by the city fathers who among them include three councillors from the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Ian Makone, Loice Gomba and Elvis Ruzani,

CCC councillors led by Mayor Jacob Mafume tried to cancel the deal claiming it was done corruptly.

But Local Government Minister July Moyo remained adamant, telling Harare City Council that it had no capacity to cancel the deal.

Moyo instructed HCC to give the Pomona dumpsite for free to the Netherlands based company in a US$344 million tender that caused public outcry due to its outrageous terms and conditions.

The company is expected to turn waste into energy with HCC paying at least US$22 000 per day. HCC indicated it did not have the capacity to pay but the Minister is trying to force the council to pay.

Residents are expected to pay a minimum of US$22,000 a day to dump rubbish there or more if it exceeds 500 tonnes then up to US$40 000 a day.

The controversial company is from Albania, allegedly linked with Collins Mnangagwa and chaperoned by Delish Nguwaya.