New settlements in Harare are putting pressure on council’s inadequate refuse collection equipment resulting in the city failing to offer weekly waste collection services, the City of Harare has said.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
Council claims thousands of new houses built in Harare or on the outskirts of the city are not the municipality’s property roll yet they enjoy services from the City of Harare.
“These households in the new settlement also get electricity from power utility Zesa Holdings among other services, the city said.
Due to the cholera outbreak, the City of Harare cannot afford to leave out the new settlements on its refuse collection schedule even though the houses are not on the city’s property roll.
Harare needs around 70 refuse trucks to effectively carry out waste collection but currently, the city has between 15-20 operational refuse trucks.
Speaking at a Ward 16 residents’ feedback meeting on Sunday, Councillor Denford Ngadziore said Harare South has about 80 000 illegal households, which expect their garbage to be collected by the municipality putting pressure on the few available refuse trucks.
“As a city, we are in a predicament as we are faced with serious land invasions where people are just occupying pieces of land and constructing their houses and they won’t be on our system but will expect to get their refuse collected.
“With the cholera pandemic we have to try and collect refuse everywhere in a fair manner.
“This will however put pressure on the few available refuse trucks. I will give an example of Harare South where we have about 80 000 illegal households,” he said.
Cllr Ngadziore said the City of Harare had tried to stop the land invasions but as soon as a family has built a structure they now consider their home, the city will have to obtain a court order to remove them.
Removal and demolition of these structures requires the city to use ratepayers’ money making it difficult for the municipality to keep land invasions.
“According to our constitution, once someone builds a structure which they consider a home, they cannot just be evicted. Even council will need a court order, which we can get, remove them and they come back again.
“In this process we will be losing money through the court processes, which is ratepayers’ money. So sometimes it is difficult to keep fighting land invasions. Some land barons know the law so much that they can twist the process for it to stretch up to six years,” said Cllr Ngadziore.