Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has reversed a resolution by the Harare City Council that seeks to scrutinise the controversial Pomona Waste of Energy Project contract between the local authority and Geoginix BV.
In a letter addressed to Harare mayor Jacob Mafume, and dated 16 June 2022, Moyo said the resolution is unnecessary and interferes with the matter which is already before the courts. The letter reads:
DIRECTIVE IN TERMS OF SECTION 14(1) OF THE URBAN COUNCILS ACT (CHAPTER 9:16) FOR COUNCIL TO RESCIND A RESOLUTION MADE BY IT IN JUNE 2022.
Please be advised that I have been availed by your Chamber Secretary the minutes of the meeting held by your Council on 2 June 2022.
A number of resolutions were made at that meeting, perhaps the most notable of which was the resolution to investigate the circumstances under which the Pomona Waste of Energy Project contract with Geoginix BV was negotiated, approved and signed by Council.
Council is, of course, at liberty to carry out the investigation which it resolved to carry out, and to challenge the validity of the contract in question. What concerns me, however, is an associated resolution which read as follows:
That the council instruct the Acting Town Clerk to withdraw the Affidavits filed by council with the court opposing the Court case by the residents challenging the Pomona Waste Energy Project .
In my view, the above resolution unnecessary interferes with the matter which is already sub judice.
The resolution is also, in my view, premature to the extent that the investigation to be carried out is not yet complete.
There is also no suggestion in the resolution that, in making and filing the affidavit with the count, the Acting Town Clerk was either not authorized or competent to make it or that perjured himself in the process.
In my view, therefore, the resolution in question was made with a view to subverting the process of the court, and is therefore in very bad faith and cannot be allowed.
Council can always approach the court direct itself to explain why it wishes to alter or withdraw its defence.
I accordingly direct, in terms of section 314(1) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), that Council immediately rescinds the resolution cited above which seeks to withdraw the opposing affidavit filed by Council in the pending court proceedings.
The resolution is, in my view, in bad faith and meant to subvert the process of the court, and is therefore not in the public interest.
The letter was copied to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr M.J.M. Sibanda, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Eng A. Marawa, Executive Chairman, Geogenix BV, Nr D Nguwaya , The Acting Town Clerk, Harare City Council, Eng P.M. Moyo, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Harare Metropolitan Province, Hon 0. Chidawo, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon M Chombo, Permanent Secretary of Local Government and Public Works, Mr Z.R. Churu, Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Harare Metropolitan Province, Mr T. Muguti.