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Harare City Council Suspends US$344 Million Pomona deal

The City of Harare has suspended the US$344 million Pomona deal between Harare and Albanian entity Geogenix BV.

This was agreed upon during a Thursday Special Council meeting held at Town House. It was chaired by Mayor Jacob Mafume, a councillor for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

The move follows public outroar over the deal which is said to be a scheme by some politicians in high offices to fleece the country.

Councillors have also agreed that a Committee should be appointed to review the agreement.

Harare Open Council cites former NetOne CEO Reward Kangai as saying the way the agreement was crafted shows that the deal may not be defeated by generic channels such as these resolutions. He said:

So-called Pomona Waste Management contract should bring an awareness of a new and wickedly crafted form of fraud and corruption, i.e. sign a contract that’s impossible to perform, forcing another party to seek termination and then get paid outrageous amounts for breach.

According to the Harare-Geogenix BV agreement, Harare should pay US$40 per tonne of garbage for the estimated 550 tonnes per day delivery or a damage fee of US$3.5 million.

Harare does not have the capacity to deliver 550 tonnes of garbage per day and is expected to fail.

The deal is similar to the one which NetOne entered into in 2016.

According to the then NetOne lawyer Nobert Muhlolo, the company and Formula Telecom Solutions ( FTS) entered into an unlawful agreement in December 2016 as approvals were not obtained from the exchange control authorities and the procurement regulatory authorities.

FTS then declared a dispute and instituted arbitration proceedings in the London Court of International Arbitration as provided for in the lawful agreement.

Resultantly NetOne was ordered to pay FTS US$5 million in damages without goods or services being rendered to it.

The matter was reported to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) but no one was ever arrested.

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