Multiple fires were lit at the Pomona Waste Site on Tuesday night in a suspected arson attack, a government official has said.
In a social media post seen by Pindula News, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity ad Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana said investigations were already underway. He said:
Last night, multiple fires were lit at the Pomona Waste Site in what is suspected to be a case of arson. The fire was successfully put out and no one was injured. Investigations are underway.
Geo Pomona Waste Management private limited also issued a statement saying investigations were underway to establish whether it was a natural fire or a product of the saboteurs of the project. Read the statement seen by Pindula News:
PRESS STATEMENT: FIRE INCIDENT AT POMONA DUMPSITE
Geo Pomona Waste Management (Private) Limited would like to inform ALL stakeholders and residents of Harare that there was a fire incident at the site on the 3rd of October 2022.The origins of the fire are yet to be established and investigations are underway to establish whether it was a natural fire or was a product of saboteurs of the project. Indications, presently, point towards some deliberate scheme by some third hand as the fire erupted in various but distant spots simultaneously.
The fire erupted around 1200hrs in the afternoon and we made all efforts to contain it. We point out that about thirty percent (30%) of the dumpsite was engulfed. We are pleased to advise that at about and around 10pm in the evening of the 3rd Of October 2022, the flames were fully under control and not as raging as when the fire started. At present, we advise that we have managed to put off the fire. We have also put in place sufficient measures to safeguard the dumpsite from similar incidences going forward.
Geo Pomona Waste Management (Private) Limited is dedicated to ensuring a pollution free environment and providing sustainable and innovative solutions in waste management. Environmentally friendly waste management is at the heart of our organisation and defines the project we are currently carrying out. We assure all stakeholders of our commitment to achieving World Class Waste Management of the Pomona Dumpsite.
This is happening amid a dispute between Harare City Council and the Ministry of Local Government over the deal with the central government pushing the council to accept the US$344 million Pomona Waste to Energy Project.
The local government authority, led by Mayor Jacob Mafume, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is refusing to accept the project saying it is not sustainable.
The Pomona Waste to Energy Project was approved in May this year, with a German investor, Geogenix BV (fronted by Dylish Nguwaya) investing 304 million Euros, with up to 22MW of electricity expected to be generated by the project.