Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
A waste removal company allegedly faked a date stamp belonging to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC), to defraud beverages companies in the country, after failing to have their operating licence renewed by the local authority.
Container Carriers Private Limited got contracts with Delta Beverages and Schweppes where they were tasked with ensuring that the two companies’ industrial waste was disposed in an environmentally friendly nature.
According to a council confidential report the matter was discovered when an alert BCC inspector got worried about how suddenly the company was collecting waste from major companies despite it having issues with the local authority over its registration.
According to Delta and Schweppes’ corporate social responsibility they are required to trace the process of their industrial waste dumping hence the need for stamped proof to their manifest showing that their refuse was dumped in an appropriate manner.
“The City of Bulawayo rejected the said company’s licence renewal upon realising that the company had turned their yard into an industrial dumping site. Its operating licence was last renewed in 2017.
“They have been without a licence for the past three years. The allegation against Container Carriers was that the company was using a forged BCC date stamp in conducting its business as the company had not been issued with an operating licence by the city’s Health Services department due to unresolved compliance issues,” reads the report.
According the Bulawayo Refuse Removal by-laws, the city collects domestic and commercial refuse only. Industry is responsible for removal of its waste and this is normally done through subcontracting private refuse collections.
“The private refuse collectors must be registered with both BCC and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).
EMA requires that industrial waste be deposited at designated places only and as such evidence in the form of BCC’s landfill site stamp is required.
“This stamp is only used for licensed waste collectors. Upon satisfying the requirements of the two authorities, the applicant is then given a certificate of refuse removal by the two authorities.
“It is a requirement that upon registration such company should only deposit industrial waste at designated landfill sites,” reads the report.
The company’s director is said to have professed ignorance on the alleged crime, during investigations, instead blaming his former driver for the alleged crime. It was further discovered that in dumping waste within their factory site, the company was in contravention of the city by laws.
“Audit suspects that the director of the said company is the culprit as the drivers would not have benefitted from such a scam but the company since payments were on account as opposed to cash basis.
“Container Carriers should be reported to the police for its criminal act of forging a BCC date stamp and purporting to its clients it was properly dumping their waste. The health services department should also take action against Container Carriers to force it to halt its practice (of dumping waste within their factory site) which is not only illegal but a risk to society,” reads the report.