GWERU-City Council Mayor and ward 1 councillor Hamutendi Kombayi has implored management to come up with strategies to curb refuse collection challenges including the engaging of donkey-drawn scotch carts in refuse collection.
Of late, reports emerged that council refuse trucks which were serviced at Dully’s had been not working as they were blocked from going to the traditional workshop over allegations of unclear deals as council resorted to use their workshop for truck servicing.
Speaking in a Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) WhatsApp group on Monday (August 15), Kombayi said he was going to engage the Chamber Secretary on issues of adopting donkey pulled scotch carts to collect refuse in residential areas.
“The deputy mayor, all councillors here present, all protocols observed. May I take this opportunity to emphasize that I am trying to communicate to you this week with regards to refuse collection.
“We are going to hold our Midlands Agricultural Show from the 18th to the 21st of this month and as City of Progress, we need to unite bearing in mind that we have current disease outbreaks.
“We need to hold a robust clean-up campaign avoiding all that. The problem is that our council does not have refuse trucks. We need to make other suggestions so that refuse is collected. I am going to meet the Chamber Secretary so that he engages those with donkey scotch carts.
“As the Commander in Chief of Gweru Municipality police, I command that the Chamber Secretary allow those young people who own donkey drawn scotch carts selling firewood to do their firewood business freely and in return they collect refuse on behalf of council.
“Council management should also think outside the box. If you fail to reach your agreements with contracted trucks, let’s engage owners of donkey-drawn carts to lessen the burden,” said Kombayi.
Gweru council Public Relations Officer Vimbai Chingwaramusee said refuse trucks were being serviced and they are back on the road.
“Our refuse trucks have been serviced and they are back on the road. As we are speaking now, refuse collection has resumed and it’s now back to normal,” said Chingwaramusee.
She further said the local authority was considering to adopt a new refuse collection system to save the refuse trucks from continuous breakdowns.
“As council, we are in the process of planning to adopt a new refuse collection structure where all refuse is collected from one point in all locations. We saw this model in Bulawayo, it’s a model that engages private contractors in collecting and bringing garbage to one point of collection where our trucks will be collecting,” she added.
Residents in Gweru have since the beginning of last month been dumping litter at undesignated dumpsites a move that has posed a health hazard to the city.
A resident of ward 6 Sibonginkosi Moyo said people are now dumping litter in drainages.
“Litter has not been collected for weeks and weeks now, and it’s a health ticking bomb considering bad waste management practices at play in our wards now. Pampers are dumped everywhere, people are disposing dirty in drains. It’s now a health scare,” said Moyo.