From : Dailynews.co.zw

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Sunday, 29 April 2012

HARARE – Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has come back to Harare again but
this time around, the philanthropists are coming in as investors.

The US- based organisation headed by former Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates,
who, according to Forbes Magazine, is the second richest man in the world is
looking for means of investing in Zimbabwe.

Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda told the Daily News on Sunday the Seattle-
based foundation which has an estimated wealth of $56 billion, was exploring
means of investing in Harare — targeting raw sewer and other disposable
waste with a view of turning it into energy.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has engaged a team of consultants led
by Peter Smuts of Pasco Waste and Environmental Consulting to have a look at
our solid waste with a view of assisting us with the installation of
facilities to convert waste into money,” said Masunda.

According to Masunda, the project will address at least two of the eight
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), of eradicating poverty by creating
employment and reducing environmental degradation through the elimination of
industrial and domestic pollution.

“Council shall push for a tripartite business model involving itself as the
designated local authority, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in
conjunction with a local or foreign technical partner and the community
where the waste is being generated,” Masunda said.

The envisioned venture between council and the foundation follows a
successful visit by Melanie Walker, a senior programme officer last year to
monitor a $5 million housing grant sponsored by the organisation.

The project initially targeted Mbare residents, but was later moved to
Dzivaresekwa due to political resistance from a Zanu PF-aligned group —
Chipangano.

The “notorious” group, described by Masunda as “loose cannons,” successfully
scuttled hopes of more than 500 Mbare families to benefit from an ambitious
housing project.

They demanded a share into the project before accusing the initiative of
being an MDC election campaigning gimmick.

Harare City Council just like many other urban local authorities is directly
controlled by the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC.

Masunda could not divulge the exact amount the project will cost preferring
to estimate that an initial capital injection of $1 million is hoped for.