The investor, Geogenix BV which is represented by Dilesh Nguwaya, will design, build, operate and transfer the Pomona waste management facility to an energy plant.
Harare City, according to the contract, will pay Geogenix BV US$40 per tonne of waste delivered and the stipulated daily delivery is at least 550 tonnes or a minimum of 200 750 tonnes per year.
Markham wants the High Court to set aside the Harare City decision to enter into the contract with Geogenix.
In his application to the High Court, Markham cited the council, Local Government Minister July Moyo, Harare Deputy Mayor Stewart Mutizwa, suspended Harare mayor Jacob Mafume, Phakamile Moyo and Geogenix as respondents.
In his founding affidavit, Markham stated:
The decision to approve the contract by and between Harare City Council and Geogenix was grossly unreasonable, irrational and extremely detrimental to the interests of the residents, stakeholders and ratepayers of the City of Harare.
The contract creates serious financial obligations for Harare City Council to pay Geogenix in foreign currency (US$) for a period of thirty (30) years. It is common cause that the first respondent’s waste collection costs are actually in the local currency (RTGS) and there is a huge disparity in the exchange rates of the local currency and the United States dollar.
Harare City Council does not have capacity to meet this obligation without falling deep into an intractable debt trap or resorting to other developmental funds. The cost of the project is unsustainable.
Markham also states that chances are high that the City of Harare will fail to perform its obligations given its incapacitation.
The local government authority is currently failing to collect waste from several places in Harare due to shortage of trucks. Markham says Harare has six working trucks only.
The contract says if Harare fails to deliver the required waste for any reason, Geogenix may choose to terminate the contract and walk away with US$3 500 000 for nothing.
The deal was opposed by the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), led by Nelson Chamisa, which described the contract as daylight robbery.