Harare City Council has not released refuse collection vehicles to the eight zones it created last week threatening the viability of the emergency clean-up operation. Some of the vehicles are still under repair amid complaints that it requires up to eight signatures to approve the purchase of smaller items like fan belts, accelerator and brake cables.
By yesterday some zones were yet to receive their allocation of vehicles while on the ground expectant residents waited in vain.
Although city spokesman Mr Leslie Gwindi said the exercise had started "in earnest", a check with some areas like Mbare, Waterfalls, Sunningdale, Glen View and Budiriro showed there was no change on the ground.
"We have started with immediate effect. It is our wish to ensure that all areas are attended to," he said.
He said management would regularly review the programme.
The eight teams are led by Dr Prosper Chonzi (central business district), Mr Leslie Gwindi (Mbare), Mr James Chiyangwa (western), Mr Emmanuel Muza (south-western), Rtd Major Matthew Marara (northern), Mr Kandororo (eastern) and Mr Dombo Chibanda (south eastern).
Under each head there is a team leader who is always on the ground to monitor progress.
Each zone has its set of trucks. Some zones have up to eight trucks with the least number of trucks servicing a zone being three in zone 8. Team leaders report to Dr Tendai Mahachi every morning.
The incumbent head of the amenities department, Mr Chibanda, has also been given a zone.
Dr Mahachi said the garbage problem had grown bigger than the department.
"A crisis is handled at the highest level. I am just doing that.
"We have created eight zones in the city. Each team leader is a director or a grade four. That leader will manage the zone and its assets," he said.
The city has 32 operational refuse trucks including the 12 that it recently acquired from Paza Basta.
The supplier is expected to deliver another 10 this month-end and another five in February.
Dr Mahachi said another four trucks were being repaired.
"We are also coming up with a new collection programme. Garbage from each suburb would be collected once a week with the exception of Mbare where collections are twice a day," he said.
"We are in crisis mode. This is a crisis management team we have put in place. We want to ensure that collections are sustained," he said.
The city had resorted to burning garbage especially in the city centre polluting the environment in the process and causing health problems to people with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.