THE City of Harare should be commended for enforcing its by-laws in Avondale West last week when its workers removed huge boulders a property owner had placed to block a road verge.
The property owner at the corner of Perth Road and Chester Road was inconveniencing motorists and pedestrians after he erected a shade and also placed huge granite stones on the verge on Perth Road preventing access by road users.
However, we are astounded that it had to take the municipality five months to act on a blatant violation of the city’s by-laws. Avondale West residents reported the matter to the council authorities in August last year but the City of Harare only acted on the illegality last weekend on Saturday and Sunday when the municipal police and workers from the control development unit removed the boulders.
The property owner had indicated he was going to remove the boulders on his own but never acted. He remained unmoved even after the local authority advised him that his actions were in contravention of the city by-laws. There is flagrant contravention of city by-laws in Harare and if council remains comatose in its approach the lawlessness in the capital city will only worsen at the expense and inconvenience of law abiding residents.
However, we must commend Avondale West residents for alerting the city and the media to the illegality at the corner of Perth Road and Chester Road. Harare needs more of such progressive residents to curb the continued deterioration of standards in the capital city.
In the same vein we wish to also congratulate Greendale residents in Ward 9 who have embarked on a campaign to name and shame litterbugs and get the Environmental Management Agency to fine culprits found illegally dumping rubbish in open spaces in the suburb. Such community initiatives are some of the few options remaining for Harare residents to preserve order and ensure cleanliness in their neighbourhoods. Under the campaign, Greendale residents managed to have EMA fine a woman caught dumping rubbish in the suburb during the festive season. The culprit who was caught on camera offloading rubbish from her car was duly fined $100 000 and that should serve as an example to would be litterbugs.
It is agreed that the City of Harare is struggling to effectively collect refuse. And from the look of things, it appears the city will be struggling for some time to come. But that doesn’t give residents the licence to dump their uncollected garbage everywhere. Waste separation at source helps a great deal in reducing the amount of waste generated at households.
If residents heed calls to embrace recycling by taking plastic bottles, glass and cardboard box to recycling centres, progress will be recorded.
Food left overs and vegetable offcuts can be used to make composts thereby reducing the amount of waste. If a person can drive their car to dump rubbish on an open space, then surely they should be able to take recyclable waste to recycling centres.