Council admits failure on refuse collection, seeks Govt intervention

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Council admits failure on refuse collection, seeks Govt intervention 
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, addresses journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday.

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke-Senior Reporter

THE Harare City Council has admitted to failing residents on refuse collection and has since transferred the responsibility to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

For years, Harare residents have co-existed with piles of uncollected garbage in their communities, despite paying council for refuse collection every month.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, yesterday said the Government was now working on putting in place functional systems, companies and institutions to collect refuse in Harare.

“The Harare City Council has formally requested that the Central Government take over the collection of solid waste management, citing the local authority’s inability to perform the mandate as expected. 

“The failure is evidenced by the existence of heaps of uncollected garbage and mushrooming illegal dumpsites all over the city,” he said.

In January, Government embarked on “Operation Chenesa Harare”, which sought to address the poor hygiene conditions that were prevailing in Harare and fuelling the cholera outbreak. 

“Operation Chenesa Harare” resulted in the clearance of more than 250 000 tonnes of garbage across the city.

However, after the lapse of the first phase of the operation, dumpsites have started emerging again in areas that had been previously cleared.

Dr Muswere said the collection of rubbish was the responsibility of the local authority as they were collecting rates from residents.

“In terms of the second and third schedules of the Urban Councils Act, Harare City Council is obliged to remove and treat effluent, refuse, and human waste within the council area. 

“Despite the Harare City Council levying and collecting rates for the purpose of waste management and having adequate legislative provisions to support such functions and operations, it has continuously failed to provide functional systems for solid waste management,” he said.

Government has since launched the second phase of “Operation Chenesa Harare”, which will see more dumpsites being cleared.

Local Government and Public Works Minister, Daniel Garwe, said while the operation was a stop-gap measure to rid the city of garbage, the move to take over waste management would provide the much-needed long-term solution.

“We are now looking at medium to long-term solutions to the problem. We found that the lasting solution is to prioritise some of the services that the council is failing to provide,” he said.