BUSINESMAN Delish Nguwaya has claimed that the late former Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) chief executive, Douglas Munatsi (pictured), was heavily involved in the US$400 million Pomona dumpsite deal that has become an emotive subject and is being challenged by stakeholders over allegations of corruption, court documents have revealed.
Nguwaya claims the late Munatsi was involved in Pomona deal
Munatsi died in a house fire in November under unclear circumstances with friends and relatives suspecting that the prominent banker may have been immobilised or held against his will on the night of his death at his posh 9th floor penthouse in Harare.
There was suspicion Munatsi was a victim of a deal that could have gone sour as he was said to have been at the centre of blocking an unnamed multi-million-dollar project, leading to speculation the deal could have been the Pomona project.
Munatsi’s family is said to have told the police that the businessman had been receiving threats from unknown people prior to his demise.
Munatsi died hours before he was set to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa for a briefing on some business issues.
ln his answering affidavit in a case in which Harare North member of Parliament Allan Markham is suing Local Government minister July Moyo, Harare City Council, Netherlands firm Geogenix BV, Harare mayor Jacob Mafume and others, Nguwaya who is representing the foreign company in Zimbabwe, said the Pomona deal was sanctioned following several engagements with ZIDA represented by Munatsi in line with the required processes where foreign firms are involved.
“Through the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA), in 2021 through its Chief Executive Officer Douglas Munatsi, we attended a meeting at ZIDA offices after having approached the Harare City Council with our proposal to invest in rehabilitation and construction of a waste energy plant at the Pomona dumpsite,” Nguwaya said.
“The meeting was attended by various officials from the City of Harare, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, and our own officials. We presented our model of how we intended to carry out the project.”
“It was agreed that we would negotiate around a joint venture agreement with Harare City Council. Central Government through 2nd Respondent (Moyo) would also be involved in the discussion as the project was novel and brings in concepts of Waste Management practiced and common in the European Union,” Nguwaya said.
He said Harare engineers and other officials visited Italy and Albania to view projects done by the company and were satisfied.
“Post this visit through ZIDA engagements continued resulting in parties coming up with a draft joint venture. The draft agreement was negotiated with the City of Harare officials, the Attorney-General of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government officials and the 6th Respondent and the process was transparently done.”
Nguwaya, who is linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s family, said the government rendered an oversight role as the project was of national interest.
“ZIDA has not been cited. It facilitated the joint venture concession agreement of March 9, 2022,” Nguwaya added.
In his answering affidavit, Local Government minister July Moyo also mentioned ZIDA through its CEO’s involvement in the deal and putting that as justification that the transaction was above board.
Moyo, in response to questions as to why there were no tender processes followed, said all processes were followed as required by law.
In a letter submitted by acting town clerk Mabhena Moyo as part of the local authority’s answering affidavit, Munatsi on 14 July 2021 wrote to council notifying them that cabinet had approved the proposed partnership between Harare and Geogenix BV and that the council should proceed and notify the partner.
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