By Pieter Ziegler

Mërtiri, in-between Former Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya and President Mnangagwa.

Former Albanian President Sali Berisha says his country’s government is preparing papers for fugitive businessman Meril Mertiri to abscond to Zimbabwe.

Mërtiri, a partner for Delish Nguwaya in the Geo-Pomona Waste Management deal with Harare City Council, is currently believed to be hiding in Vienna, Austria.

However, it has been reported that he has been denied asylum there.

Mërtiri is on the run from the law accused of swindling 430 million Euros through incinerator deals in Tirana, Elbasan and Fier.

The Albanian Special Prosecution Against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) has since seized the waste to energy plant he was building in Tirana.

However, former Prime Minister Berisha says Mertiri is being protected by the Albanian government.

From the Austrian capital, Berisha said that he, Mërtiri requested political asylum but was rejected by the court there.

Berisha further accused the government of preparing a papers for him to escape to Zimbabwe.

“The secret is that the government keeps Mirel Mërtiri, who is in Vienna and has requested political asylum.

“He was refused political asylum.

“The government is (now) preparing the passport for him so that he can take it to where a good part of the money is, in Zimbabwe.

Berisha, who is now an opposition leader, was talking to a local Albanian publication.

An Elaborate Deal

Mertiri’s African adventure began as an expansion of the Albanian model of public-private partnerships in urban waste management.

It financed through concessionary companies ultimately paid for by Albanian taxpayers.

The deals were announced on the company website of Integrated Energy B.V.

It was noted that the projects would be implemented in collaboration with the governments of Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Lately the waste-to-energy deal in Ghana has fallen through.

However, in Zimbabwe, Nguwaya and Mertiri’s partnership has been hand-held by central government.

It has continued exerting pressure on Harare City Council to see the deal through.

This is despite an exorbitant arrangement which will result in the payment of over US$400 million by residents.

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