Controversial Geo-Pomona deal haunts Harare City Council  |

By Darlington Gatsi

Residents have accused the government of using the rejection of Harare City Council’s 2024 budget as leverage to pressure the municipality into accepting an addendum to a controversial waste management deal with Geo Pomona Waste Management.

The Ministry of Local Government rejected the budget last week citing the council’s failure to submit audited accounts since 2017 giving the council until April 19 to submit a revised proposal.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba believes the Ministry’s actions go beyond the 2024 budget.

 “As Harare Residents Trust our observation is that the meeting held by the Minister has nothing specifically to do with the 2024 budget but it is designed to exert excessive pressure on the local authority to accede to the addendum to the agreement between the City of Harare and Geo Pomona waste management company,” said Shumba.

Geo Pomona is a company established in 2022 after a Dutch waste management firm, Geogenix BV, secured a US$350 million waste-to-energy deal with the city.

This deal has been a source of contention between the company and Harare residents.

Under the agreement, Geo Pomona would charge the city US$123 for refuse collection, though the project is still under construction with an expected completion date in 2025.

Shumba further argues that residents prioritize improved refuse collection over the Geo Pomona deal.

He added: “We object because Geo Pomona hasn’t invested in upgrading the Pomona dumpsite, which belongs to Harare ratepayers. The pressure seems to be on the city to address waste management as a condition for budget approval.

“From the beginning, we’ve demanded they address refuse collection for residents, businesses, and the central business district before any deal with Geogenix BV. Currently, the city delivers waste to the Pomona dumpsite, and residents believe the Ministry’s rejection is linked to this unresolved issue.”

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