Harare residents in areas serviced by council's refuse trucks should brace for delays in garbage collection as the local authority's fleet is grounded owing to diesel shortages.
While the council is struggling, The Herald understands that Clean City, a private firm contracted to collect refuse in selected areas, continues to offer services after it built a significant fuel supply buffer to avoid disruptions.
Clean City collects refuse in Harare's northern, eastern and parts of southern suburbs including Avondale, Belvedere, Mbare, Waterfalls, Southerton, Rugare and Eastlea.
Residents have proposed the creation of a single collection point where they can deposit their refuse in every area as opposed to street collection.
Harare City spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme last week said fuel shortages have hampered refuse collection.
"We currently do not have diesel," he said. "We have paid our suppliers, but we have not received any deliveries. The fuel shortage has impacted negatively on our capacity to do door-to-door garbage collection. The service will resume once the situation improves."
Mr Chideme said suppliers were demanding payment in US dollars, yet they were offered services in the local currency.
Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba proposed that council uses its district offices as collection points.
"It would be more convenient for the council to collect the garbage once they have secured enough diesel to undertake street collections," he said.
Mr Shumba urged ratepayers not to create illegal dump-sites on street corners and in open spaces, especially at this point when the deadly coronavirus pandemic has been confirmed in Zimbabwe.
"They have to organise themselves and place the garbage at council offices. Where the council offices are far away, the residents have to organise and identify central places to place their garbage such that council vehicles will pick the garbage once they have diesel."