By Innocent Ruwende
Harare City Council’s $100 million deal for the construction of a waste management plant at Pomona Dumpsite has collapsed after the tender expired. The then State Procurement Board was supposed to adjudicate over the tender which was submitted early last year.
Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday confirmed the development, saying council has been forced to go back to the drawing board.
“The Pomona waste to energy tender has expired in the bureaucratic hands of the expired State Procurement Board. It illustrates that we are very far from being open for business. There is need to match the mantra,” he said.
The city has now been told to restart the process and follow the provisions of the Joint Venture Act which requires that the city send a proposal to the joint venture unit.
The JVU is responsible for considering project proposals submitted to it and assess whether or not they are affordable to the government or any of its parastatals or enterprises intending to enter such agreements, providing value for money, providing optimum transfer of technical, operational and financial risks to the prospective investor as well as whether they are competitive or not.
Government also recently appointed a new regulatory authority — Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe — to deal with State procurement following the expiry of the term of office of the State Procurement Board.
It is believed that Government had been losing public funds through inefficient and ineffective procurement processes, which often resulted in the acquisition of sub-standard goods.
In some instances, procurement officers have been accused of inflating the cost of goods and services.
Council had short-listed six companies for the construction of the waste management plant at Pomona Dumpsite, which will generate electricity, and curtail diseases such as cancer, as well as the recurrence of fire outbreaks.
Fire outbreaks at Pomona Dumpsite have become a perennial problem and council wanted a firm with a financial muscle and technical capacity in the joint venture to solve the problem with a $100 million capital injection.
The city intends to create a properly engineered landfill as the dumpsite has been used for the last 30 years.
Council and is prospective partner will initially mine the given area before putting up all the proper requirements for a landfill, while they continue with the waste-to-energy project
Harare was hoping to start the project by mid-year last year.
It has previously engaged an Italian firm over the plant but the firm chickened out at the stage of implementation.